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2 Pinays plead guilty to overstaying 15 and 28 years in HK

13 February 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao
Two Filipina former domestic workers have pleaded guilty to separate charges of breaching their conditions of stay by overstaying their work visas for 15 and 28 years, respectively.
An overstayer (left) asks help from Consulate
before surrendering

Crestin Diaz, 53, and Anita Hilario, 71, appeared in Kwun Tong court on Wednesday, Feb 12, before Magistrate Ko Wai-hing, and admitted their offenses.

The prosecution said Diaz surrendered to Immigration authorities on Feb 5 after overstaying in Hong Kong since June 14, 2004.

She came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper on Dec 13, 2002 but was terminated prematurely on May 31, 2004. She failed to find a new employer in the 14 days she was allowed to remain in Hong Kong, and decided to overstay.
Her defense counsel from the Duty Lawyer Service pleaded for leniency, citing Diaz’s guilty plea. He cited her advanced age, and said the Filipina wanted to rejoin her family as soon as possible.

Magistrate Ko sentenced Diaz to 10 months in prison.

In a separate case, Hilario pleaded guilty to overstaying in Hong Kong for 28 years and five months after her work visa as a domestic helper expired on Sept 4, 1991.
The prosecution said Hilario surrendered to Immigration on Feb 10. After checking her records, officers found out that she came to Hong Kong in 1989 and did not leave when her visa ran out.

Ko ordered Diaz remanded in custody after taking note of the woman’s age, and said he wanted to see a background report on her first before sentencing on Mar 4.
Diaz was earlier reported in The SUN as having sought help from the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section in surrendering to the authorities.

She decided to surrender after both her feet swelled up and she started having difficulty breathing.

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