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Filipina cleared of theft filed by employer of 12 years - as she was set to go home

03 August 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap


Aileen is finally able to smile after getting help from different groups and people

A Filipina domestic worker was left distressed and fuming after her employer of nearly 12 years had tried to get her arrested for allegedly stealing a Rolex watch just four hours before she was set to go home for good on Monday, Aug. 1.

The employer, R. Yau, called the police to her home in Tai Wai shortly after 5am, just as 41-year-old Aileen Dapito was preparing to go to the airport for her 9:15am flight to Manila via Cebu Pacific.

The police promptly arrived but after a thorough search of Dapito’s belongings which were already packed in preparation for her trip, they found no trace of the missing watch.


Despite this, the Filipina who is single, an education graduate and resident of Mindoro Oriental,  was taken to the Shatin police station for further questioning. She was released after an hour, during which she was asked to make a statement.

By this time Dapito had already missed her flight, and she had nowhere to go. She overheard her male employer telling his wife to cancel her flight, so she knew she could have a problem getting onto the airline’s next flight to Manila.

Besides, the police told her to wait for their call, so she knew there was a risk of her being barred from leaving Hong Kong even if she was not formally arrested.

As if what she had to go through was not enough, Dapito read a story in an online media site published shortly after she was released by police that totally distorted what had happened.

According to the story, the foreign domestic worker accused of having stolen a watch worth $200,000 had managed to take a flight home before the theft was discovered.

Bakit ganoon ang balita? Maling mali!” (Why was the story written that way? It was totally wrong), a tearful Dapito asked over the telephone.

Press for details

She said her parents and boyfriend had just heard about what happened to her and were as distraught. They asked her to fly home as soon as she could so she could put the traumatic experience behind her.

Asked about the case, a police spokesman said yesterday that no arrests were made and there was no suspect. He said it was just a case of police assistance being sought for investigation.

As for the erroneous news item which had been attributed to the police, the spokesman said a press statement giving out the correct information had already been released.

Luckily, Dapito was not treated like a suspect at the police station so she managed to contact several friends who told her to seek help from the Mission for Migrant Workers, so from Shatin, she went directly to the NGO’s office in Central.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

By Monday night she had already been placed in a shelter in Jordan run by Catholic priest Fr John Wotherspoon, and by yesterday afternoon, was at the Consulate to get help in ensuring she will not be stopped at the airport when she next books her flight.

She is now just waiting for the Consulate to get the police to give her the all-clear so she can go home – or pursue a claim for compensation as what many of her friends have advised her to do.

Dapito told The SUN she was still shocked by what happened, and also hurt and puzzled as to why her employers of so many years had tried to get her arrested for something she did not do.

As she told the police in her statement, she never saw her employer wear a Rolex watch, which she was told costs $300,000. All she knew was that her employer, who dressed simply, had worn either a Casio or an Apple watch.

Part of Ailene's statement says she never saw the watch she supposedly stole

The last time the employer claimed to have worn the watch was a year ago, and since that time, at least three other domestic workers had stayed in their 3,000 square-foot home, apart from her husband and two children aged 11 and 7.

In addition, the employer said she had kept the watch in a locked drawer, and Dapito said she was never given the key to that drawer.

What pains the Filipina worker even more is that in all the years that she had worked for the Yans she had come to love her female employer and her two children so much that she was convinced to put off retiring a couple of times.

When her fifth contract ended in October last year, Dapito said she was set on leaving but she was again asked to stay because the two helpers who were supposed to replace her had not yet arrived.

She agreed and set the deadline again in December last year but was again persuaded to stay because the second helper had yet to arrive.

In all those years, Dapito said she did not ask for a salary increase, and was given only an extra $1,000 when she agreed to sign up for her last contract - and that was only because she had to work alone in the huge house with three floors and six bathrooms.

Little did she know that the family she had served loyally for nearly 12 years would put her through her worst nightmare in Hong Kong. Now, she is considering pursuing other legal means to get redress for the wrong that was done to her.


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