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PCG to ask police to investigate Filipina DH’s death

26 April 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap

Nebreja's Facebook photo: Did she die of an alleged assault, or a heart attack?

The Philippine Consulate says it will ask Hong Kong police to investigate the death of Filipina domestic helper Gretchen Nebreja who passed on in Tuen Mun hospital on Apr 24, where she had been confined for three days.

A Facebook post said Nebreja had died from an alleged assault by her employer, but one of her province mates in Hong Kong says doctors have indicated her cause of death as heart attack.

Nebreja, who was said to be 34 years old from Bgy. Beberon, San Fernando, Camarines Sur, had been in Hong Kong for only five months. Her employer is said to reside in Aqua Blue, Siu Lam, Tuen Mun, New Territories.

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Her Facebook account shows she was single, and had worked previously in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Consul General Raly Tejada said in response to a query on messenger, “The Consulate has been talking to the family and the agencies both here and in Manila. We’ll have a meeting on this and request for an investigation by the HK authorities.”

Consul Paulo Saret, head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section, said the Filipina was in hospital between Apr 21 to 24, when she died, but gave no further details.

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The original Facebook post said that after the alleged assault Nebreja was rushed to hospital but died soon after.

But a Bicolana leader in the Filipino community in Hong Kong, Bebs Leonardo, who accompanied Nebreja’s friend to ATN, said the deceased was reportedly found by her employers collapsed in their bathroom, with her skin already purple in color, indicating a lack of oxygen.
Nebreja was rushed unconscious to Tuen Mun Hospital on Apr 21, and died 3 days later

She did confirm, however, that Nebreja had been having problems with her employer.

According to Nebreja’s friend, Sky Rubio, the deceased had sent voice messages to her, complaining of alleged verbal insults by both her employers.
As a result, the deceased reportedly tried to break her contract thrice in the past, but was prevailed upon by her employer to reconsider.

Nebreja reportedly agreed because she needed the money, and also because the Luzon-wide lockdown in the Philippines would have meant her having difficulties returning to her province.

But the last time she asked to leave, she reportedly got her employer’s consent, and should have finished serving her notice yesterday, Apr 25, if she didn’t fall ill.

Nebreja’s cell phone has been turned over to ATN to assist them in their investigation.

Leonardo says she and Rubio do not know who made the original Facebook post claiming physical abuse by the employer, as it has been copied and reposted several times.

Comments on the Facebook posts say the family’s appeal for help has been referred to the Departments of Labor and Employment and Foreign Affairs, which will both ask their Hong Kong officers to ask for an inquiry.


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