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DH cleared of drug offense files labor claim vs employer

06 June 2019

 High-grade cocaine seized from a group of Filipina tourists at the HK Airport

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina domestic helper who was freed of a drug trafficking charge after being detained for nearly nine months is seeking compensation from her former employer for her allegedly unlawful dismissal.

Michelle Mardo went to the Labor Relations Division office in Tuen Mun this morning, Jun 6, to file the claim.

She alleged that her employer had terminated their contract without informing her, shortly after her arrest on Sept 27.
She is claiming, among several items, a month’s wage in lieu of notice, severance pay and an air ticket back to the Philippines.

She said she also plans to charge customs and police authorities for her wrongful arrest.

Mardo was arrested by undercover officers as soon as she accepted an air parcel sent from Ecuador by her Nigerian boyfriend whom she met online. The package was found to contain nearly 300 grams of pure-grade cocaine.

She was held without bail for nearly nine months but was released by the Eastern Court on Jun 4 after the prosecution withdrew the drug trafficking charge against her. No reason was given for the dropping of the charge.

“Malaking perhuwisyo ang ginawa nila sa akin at sa mga anak ko. Nag-suffer sila dahil doon,” Mardo, who has three children, said.
She said her two teenage children had to drop out of school because she could no longer send them money after her arrest.

The Immigration Department gave Mardo until this Saturday to remain in Hong Kong, but she is applying for a visa extension to pursue the labor case against her employer.

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