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Pals bid farewell to debt-plagued Pinay in fatal fall

06 August 2019

Image may contain: 2 people
Many were teary-eyed while looking at J.T.'s remains and saying a final goodbye

By Vir B. Lumicao

Friends of a 40-year-old Filipina helper who plunged to her death from her employer’s flat in Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, on Jul 22 said they were aware of her financial problems but she kept them mostly to herself.

About 20 of her friends and church mates gathered at the Universal Funeral Parlour in Hung Hom at noon on Aug 4 to bid her a final farewell. Her remains were flown to Manila the next day, and transported by funeral car to her final resting place in Candelaria, Quezon.
Image may contain: 12 people, including Melody Sotero, people standing
J.T.'s friends stayed until her casket was placed in a wooden box prior to her flight back home
Most of her friends wiped away tears as they viewed the remains of J.T., who was single and had a 14-year-old son.

“Mas mahirap ang dinanas niya sa Kuwait at Jordan pero ang lakas ng loob niya noon, Pagkatapos nagawa niya ito,” said one friend, who did not want to give her name.
The friend said she and other members of their informal group Mayward Flyers, who got together in their church in Kwai Chung on their day off, knew about the victim’s financial woes but did not ask her about these out of respect for her privacy.

Another friend said one loan fell due in June when the victim failed to pay her monthly amortization.
Another helper, said to be J.T.’s best friend in the group, did not have the courage to see her remains despite bearing a bunch of daisies for her. She only peeked into the victim’s coffin after some prodding by others who said that it would be the last time she’d see her friend.

Hong Kong police have said J.T.’s death appeared to be related to her debt problems.

Ironically, her family now stands to receive around  Php600,000 in insurance payouts as a result of her death.
Welfare officer Virsie Tamayao said more than Php500,000 will come from the deceased’s mandatory insurance, and Php120,000 in death benefit from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration

She said the victim was a first-time overseas Filipino worker in Hong Kong and was still covered by the two-year mandatory insurance and was also an active OWWA member. Her two-year contract would have lapsed this coming September.

Tamayao said suicide is covered in both payouts because stress is considered as a health-related concern of OFWs.
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