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Overstaying former DH going home with terminal cancer

16 December 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

A sickly-looking Limalima appeared in court after surrendering to Immigration

A former Filipina helper who overstayed in Hong Kong for more than two years after a failed bid to prevent her deportation is flying home this week in time to spend Christmas and New Year with her children.

But the reunion of Rosalie Limalima, 46, with the five children she hasn’t seen since 2011 may be short-lived, as she said she is suffering from Stage 4 cervical cancer with kidney complications.

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Limalima pleaded guilty in Shatin Court on Monday, Dec 16, to one count of breach of condition of stay for overstaying her visa.

The prosecution told Magistrate Wong Tsz-ho that Limalima surrendered to Immigration authorities on Dec 9 because she wanted to return to the Philippines as soon as possible.

The prosecutor said Limalima entered Hong Kong to work as a domestic worker on Dec 20, 2011 but her work contract was terminated prematurely.

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On Jun 19, 2014, she was arrested by an undercover police in a bar in Wanchai for soliciting and for  breaching her visa conditions.

She pleaded guilty to the charges and was jailed for two months.

A third charge for overstaying was dropped because Limalima was found out to have  filed a torture claim.

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In August 2017 her application for non-refoulement, or against being sent home because of fear her life was in danger, was rejected with finality by the government. Since then, she had overstayed.

On Monday, the defense counsel assigned by the Duty Lawyer Service said Limalima gave herself up after her health deteriorated. He asked that she be given a suspended sentence as her cancer had already affected her kidneys.

A tearful Limalima, who looked withered and sick, parted her jacket to reveal a cathether.   

Wong asked for a proof to justify a suspended sentence and the lawyer presented a medical report from the hospital stating his client was suffering from acute urine retention.

Wong told Limalima that after considering her health condition, voluntary surrender to Immigration and guilty plea, he was imposing a six-week sentence for overstaying, suspended for 18 months, so she could go home shortly.

Outside the courtroom, Limalima told The SUN she was set to fly home on Dec 19 on an air ticket given by a private donor.

Welfare officer Marivic Clarin said Limalima can qualify for a Php5,000 livelihood assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration as an inactive member.      

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