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Filipina in reported suicide dies in hospital

08 August 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

A newly-wed Filipina domestic helper who reportedly hanged herself in her employer’s house in Sheung Shui on Aug 1 has been taken off life support machines after being pronounced clinically dead, according to Consulate officers.

The cause of the apparent suicide was not immediately known, and no suicide note was reportedly found.
North District Hospital in Sheung Shui where the victim
was declared dead
 According to Consul Paulo Saret, head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section, staff at North District Hospital in Sheung Shui took off the instruments attached to the 32-year-old victim at 2pm earlier today, Wednesday.

The victim, who had been working in Hong Kong for eight years, was reportedly found hanging by her neck in her bedroom by her 39-year-old male employer, who took her down and called police. She was rushed to hospital in critical condition.

At 3:23 pm on Aug. 6, she was declared brain-dead, said Lorna Obedoza of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration office.

By noon the next day, the victim’s husband whom she married only on Jun 25, arrived from Antique, and was escorted directly to the hospital by OWWA staff. He arrived just in time to witness his wife being taken off life support.

A source said the victim went home only recently to wed her husband in civil rites, with plans to follow it up with a church wedding.

Obedoza said a cousin of the victim had earlier begged doctors not to unplug the machines yet, but they were told of the Hospital Authority’s policy to keep life support on only for 24 hours after a patient is declared brain-dead.

The cousin reportedly wanted the patient to be kept alive until Sunday so her friends could come and say goodbye.

Consul Saret said his office is now preparing to repatriate the victim’s remains. 

Talk to people or call hotline, distressed OFWs urged   
Consul Paul says, call us if you need help

The Consulate is advising Filipino workers in Hong Kong to talk with relatives and friends about their problems to unburden themselves, or call for help.

Consul Paulo Saret, head of the assistance to nationals section, gave the advice in the wake of reports that a Filipina domestic worker had hanged herself on Aug. 1.

If they are too shy to share their problems with those close to them, the Consulate’s hotline is open 24 hours a day with an officer ready to listen and advise them, said Saret.

“Iyong mga kababayan nating may dinadalang mabigat na problema, nandito naman tayo, bukas itong ating Konsulado from Sunday to Thursday,” Saret said.

He said that apart from ATN staff manning the hotline, the Consulate also has a social welfare attaché, Beth Dy, who is a qualified counselor and could be contacted for one-on-one consultation.

Saret said that whatever problem a worker has, be it over money, or problems with employers, a solution can be found.

“Yung pera, hindi naman yun ang be all and end all ng buhay natin. Yung employer naman po, kung anuman ang problema, nandito kami sa ATN at POLO,” Saret said.

Those who need to contact ATN may call the consular hotline, 9155 4023. For work-related concerns, they may call OWWA’s hotline, 6345 9324 or 5529 1880 for the Philippine Overseas Labor Office. – VBL


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