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Pinay in reported suicide to be flown home

17 August 2018

Ariel (in red shirt) and other relatives meet with
CG Morales (in suit) at the Consulate

By The SUN-HK

Consulate officers say the remains of the Filipina who allegedly hanged herself at her employer’s home will be flown home on Aug. 27.

A day before this, or on Aug. 26, a Sunday, a public viewing of her body will be held at the North District Hospital in Sheung Shui, from 12 noon to 3pm. Mourners are requested to wear white.

According to Lorna Obedoza, welfare officer at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, the employers of the victim had paid for the repatriation, and also paid for long service for the seven and a half years that the Filipina had worked for them.

The employers also reportedly asked for understanding from those who had been bashing them because they did not show up at the hospital where their longtime helper was in critical condition for about a week before she was taken off life support.

According to Obedoza, the employers said they were also distraught at the helper’s passing, as she had been with them for a long time.

The victim’s husband, who is to fly back home to Anini-y, Antique to await his wife’s repatriation, had earlier called on the police to look into a possible foul play in the death of his wife.

Ariel, who also met with Consul General Antonio A. Morales on Aug. 13, said he did not believe his wife had committed suicide.

Ariel told The SUN his late wife, who would have turned 33 years old on Aug. 18, had not told him of any problem except for alleged death threats she had been hearing shortly before she was found dead.

“Lagi po kasing naririnig ng misis ko na papadampot siya at patayin,” Ariel said, but did not specify who might have been behind these threats.

He said his wife had told two of her friends on Jul 31 about the death threats but did not have time to report them to the police or Consulate.

Ariel also claimed his wife’s phone had been emptied of messages and reformatted when police recovered it. In addition, a piece of luggage where she hid her work contract and other important documents were reportedly missing.

Ariel corrected earlier reports that they had just gotten married, saying they were wed on June 25, 2009. His wife just went home recently to celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary with him. They had no children.
Other relatives told Morales that the victim, who used to work as a sales lady at a department store, used to take her day off only once a month and seldom met up with them.

The victim, who was briefly revived on being taken to hospital, was taken off life support system at 2pm on Aug 8, nearly 48 hours since she was declared brain-dead by doctors in the intensive care unit.

One of her cousins said that contrary to earlier reports, the victim was found by her employer in the toilet, and not in the maid’s bedroom of their luxury villa in The Green, Sheung Shui in the morning of Aug. 1.

Reports said the maid had hung herself with a wire, although a bottle of pesticide was also found in the room. There was no suicide note.

Police had indicated they found nothing suspicious, and were only investigating the reason for her suicide.

After talking to the victim’s relatives, Morales said the Consulate needs to conduct seminars for Filipino workers here on mental health. He added that they need to call the PCG immediately if they are troubled.

“We will be holding seminars to teach our workers how to cope with stress so that we can avoid tragedies like this,” Morales told The SUN. He said the Consulate’s hotline is also open 24 hours a day to answer calls.

“We have counselors here who can give them advice if they have problems,” he said.

The same advice was given earlier by Consul Paulo Saret, head of the assistance to nationals section. He said OFWs should also talk to relatives and friends about their problems to get these off their chests.

They could also call The Samaritans, which runs a 24-hour multilingual suicide prevention hotline at 2896 0000. Emails can also be sent to jo@samaritans.org.hk.



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