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Assaulted Pinay settles case for $10k, agency suspended

26 November 2019

Carol struggles to finish a meal after her ordeal
By Daisy CL Mandap

A Filipina domestic worker who was allegedly punched and threatened with a chopper by an elderly nanny hired by her employers in Ma On Shan is heading back home today, Nov. 26, after settling her case for just under $10,000.

Carol A.decided to go home to Leyte, even after filing a complaint with the Wanchai Police station on Nov. 21 over the alleged assault by the nanny she knew only as “Susan” that took place a week earlier. Carol, 29, who is married and has three kids, had worked for her employer for just over a month.

According to welfare officer Virsie Tamayao who interviewed Carol on Nov. 24 and again on Nov. 25, the worker decided not to pursue her complaint after accepting an additional payment of $5,000 from her employer.

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The employment agency that deployed her to Hong Kong, Golden Luzon, has also promised to ask its counterpart in Manila to waive the charges for the loan Carol was forced to take so she could pay the Php28,000 fee for her training and medical check-up.

Earlier, Carol's employer paid more than $5,000 to her for her 13 days’ work and one month salary in lieu of notice. A piece of paper she was asked to sign stated she was terminated for her failure to communicate well in English.

This was even after she showed the employer and the owner of Golden Luzon a medical certificate from a clinic and the Prince of Wales hospital certifying to her injury.

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Carol said the police officers she called on Nov 14 when she decided to leave her employer’s house without notice were the ones who called an ambulance and accompanied her to Prince of Wales.

But they did not take down her statement apparently because they could not understand what she was trying to tell them. Instead, they told her to get someone who could help explain the situation, and go to any nearby police station.

Despite being told this, Golden Luzon’s owner did not take Carol to the police station and instead brokered the settlement with the employer. He also immediately booked Carol for a flight back to Manila.

On learning about this, Acting Labor Attache Antonio Villafuerte ordered the processing of Golden Luzon’s contracts suspended starting Nov. 21. The suspension, however, will last only a maximum of 30 days.
ALA Villafuerte suspended Golden Luzon, citing several violations of its undertaking 
ALA Villafuerte said the agent violated his undertaking of not seeking immediate help for the distressed worker. He compounded the violation by helping to make it appear that the worker was terminated, and then booking her for a flight home immediately.

On top of all these, Villafuerte was incensed when the agent reportedly put the phone down on him twice when he tried to inquire about the case.

The top labor official ordered the agent to bring the assaulted worker to Tamayao for an interview on Nov. 21. On learning that Carol had been told by police to file a complaint, Tamayao ordered the agent to accompany her to Wanchai Police Station.

At the station, the officers were visibly concerned on seeing the big bruise on Carol’s left upper arm which remained prominent a week after the alleged assault. But they got even more alarmed when Carol told them that just five days earlier, Susan the nanny had threatened her with a chopper.

According to Carol, the nanny was hired by her employers just two weeks after she arrived, and whose only task was to care for their female employer and her newborn. From the start the language barrier drove a wedge between them, and Susan was reportedly always angry over Carol’s perceived failure to abide by her orders.

At about lunchtime on Nov. 8, Susan reportedly got upset when Carol forgot to heed her order to wash the rice in a basin first before putting it in the cooker. The nanny who was then chopping meat was reportedly so upset that she brought the chopper down hard on the chopping block in front of Carol and shouted at her for being “crazy” and dimwitted.

On Nov. 13, at about 5:30 pm, Susan again got angry when Carol did not heed an order, and when the maid smiled to make light of the situation, the nanny allegedly punched her hard on the arm. Carol said her female employer who was just in the adjoining living room must have seen the attack but did nothing.

Carol said that she had been so terrorized by the two unprovoked attacks on her that she decided to leave the house early the next day after telling her employer she was just going to buy something from the grocery. She never returned.
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