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Cause of Filipina helper's death still a mystery

28 August 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

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Delizo was not known to have suffered from any ailment

The cause of death of Mylin Delizo, the third Filipino domestic worker reported to have died in August, is still a mystery as an autopsy still has to be performed on her, Consulate officers said after meeting her employers on Wednesday, Aug 28.

According to Danny Baldon of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section, Delizo’s employers said police are still waiting for the helper’s relatives to send a letter requesting for autopsy before they can examine her body.
Baldon and welfare officer Virsie Tamayao of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration met with the employers at the Consulate to shed light on Delizo’s death.

But the meeting with the couple who had employed Delizo for the past seven years failed to reveal any new information.

The employers had reported finding Delizo dead at around 7am on Aug. 19. They said the helper was unresponsive when they tried to wake her up after finding her lying on the living room sofa.

When the employers noticed that she was not breathing anymore they called the police. An ambulance was sent to their house in Lai Chi Kok but the crew, seeing Delizo was already dead, took her remains straight to the public mortuary.

Tamayao said the couple had told OWWA that Delizo’s death was reported to the ATN section by the police.
Delizo’s relatives also said they first learned about her death from the police who found them after calling the last dialed number in her mobile phone. The number belonged to Delizo’s niece in Singapore.

During their meeting, Tamayao said the employers said they were not aware of any health problems of Delizo, nor did they know if she was taking medicines of any kind.

Tamayao said the couple was aware of their financial obligations to their dead helper, including shouldering the cost of repatriating her remains.

Delizo, who was from San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, was first suspected by her employers to have died of cancer, said her nephew Jonathan.

“Kutob lang po ng amo niya (na cancer ang ikinamatay) kasi biglaan daw po ang pagpayat ng Tita ko, medyo naglagas daw po kasi ang buhok niya,” said the nephew, who had been in touch by phone with the employer.

But nobody knows for sure if Delizo had suffered from any health problems. Tamayo said only an autopsy will determine the cause of the helper’s death.

Delizo was the third Filipina domestic worker to have died in Hong Kong within 10 days in August.

On Aug 12, Milagrosa M. Aligaen, 63, who had worked in Hong Kong for 29 years, was found dead on her bed in her employer’s house in Shaukeiwan, apparently due to heatstroke.

On Aug 22, Imelda Bartolome, 50, who worked in Mei Foo, died in hospital of a heart attack. She came from Naguilian, Isabela.

Delizo came to Hong Kong in 1998 and had been supporting her mother, said her nephew. She was married but had no children.

Jonathan said her husband filed a claim for Delizo’s remains at the Department of Foreign Affairs regional office in San Fernando, Pampanga, upon being informed of the maid’s death. 

The family is hoping the remains would be delivered to the family while the nine-day nightly prayers for her are still under way, Jonathan said.
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