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Filipina DH taken to police station after spat with employer; relatives ask for help

29 October 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap 

S.L. being interviewed by a police officer in the lobby of Island Place in North Point

A Filipina domestic helper who appeared to have figured in a fight with her employer after being fired and forced to sign a blank document, was taken away by a police car late on Wednesday night.

Frantic friends and family member of the Filipina with the initials S.L., appealed for help as they uploaded videos of police talking to the helper in the lobby of Island Place Three in North Point shortly after 9pm.

Another video reportedly taken by a friend of the helper who lives in the same building showed two woman apparently grappling with each other while shouts of “ate, ate” (sister, sister) could be heard in the background. Link here: https://www.facebook.com/messenger_media?thread_id=100000520327080&attachment_id=353634805703073&message_id=mid.%24cAABa8y99z6h7ojzeOF1cPeQoz2P1

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The video quickly made the rounds on social media, but came to the attention of people in Hong Kong only after it was shared by an overseas Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia who said she didn’t even know the people involved.

Consul General Raly Tejada, who was informed about the case by the group, Domestic Workers Corner, had reportedly asked anyone who might have witnessed the incident to come forward and help shed light on what happened.

Friends and relatives of the Filipina also reached out to the Mission for Migrant Workers and The SUN.

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Eventually, despite efforts by friends who reportedly rushed to the scene in an attempt to intercede on the Filipina’s behalf, three police officers took her away for questioning.

Three officers took C.P. away for questioning

According to S.L.'s sister who also works in Hong Kong, the helper had served a notice of termination to her employer nearly a month ago, and was due to leave early next month.

S.L., who had been with the employer for just three months, had reportedly complained of ill-treatment, being made to sleep in the living room, and not having any place to store her personal stuff, except for the tiny space under the kitchen sink.

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She also complained of finding it difficult to rein in her young, frisky wards, one of whom nearly got hit by a tram just days ago.

Shortly before the fighting incident, S.L. was reportedly told by her employer that she was being released that same night, but she should first a sign a blank document addressed to Hong Kong Immigration, apparently a notice of termination.

S.L. refused to comply, and when her employer persisted, started recording their conversation with her phone. Seeing this, the employer reportedly got angry, and tried to snatch the phone, resulting in the fight that was caught on video.

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After police were called, S.L. was taken down to the building’s lobby where the police spoke with her.

S.L.’s sister said a couple who knows her sister rushed to Island Place but their request to speak with the helper was ignored by the police.

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She is set to get in touch with the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section later today to ask for help in finding out what the police intends to do with her sister. She hopes they will not charge her with any offense, saying all that her sister wanted to do was to leave her employer in peace. 

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