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DH who claims to have sold phones for her salary loses case

25 February 2021

 By Vir B. Lumicao 

The Filipina told the Tribunal she had to sell phones and food to earn her salary

A Filipina helper who claimed to have been told to sell cellphones and cooked food to fellow workers so she could earn her salary has dropped her $13,000 claim against her employer after a Labour Tribunal officer said her cause was futile.

The claimant, M. Gabo, said she was now leaving everything to karma, or divine providence, after abandoning her case at the Labour Tribunal this afternoon, Feb 25.

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Gabo appeared before Presiding Officer Vivian Lee, with a claim totaling $13,352 that included wage in lieu of notice, $6,000 in salary cuts, $900 for a one-way air ticket and $2,800 arrears in wages.

The employer K.T. was absent from the hearing, but Lee said she would proceed to look at the merits of the claim.


Lee asked the claimant what went on between her and the employer on Feb 16 last year, when they met and the defendant offered her a job.

The helper said the issue was complicated, because the employer made her sell cellphones to Filipina workers. But the tribunal officer cut her off and said the case was not complicated.


Lee told Gabo she could not claim wage in lieu of notice because the employer had said in response to the claim that it was the helper who gave a month’s notice of termination a day before she was told to pack up and go on Aug 16 last year.

The presiding officer also said as for the annual leave claim, the defendant replied the helper still owed her $7,000 for a salary advance that Gabo took last year.


The Filipina explained that the money was in fact payment for an iPhone 10 that her employer asked her to sell but which the buyer had returned. Gabo said she would return the phone to the employer if she was paid her claim.

On the helper’s claim of salary cuts, Lee said the employer told the Tribunal that she and Gabo had agreed on a salary of $3,000 because when the claimant joined the employer on Mar 16 last year, both of them were jobless.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Lee said the Filipina did not submit her reply to the defendant’s counterclaims. Gabo said she had prepared photocopies of documents and Whatsapp messages she exchanged with her employer about her claims but did not include them in her submissions.

“I’m telling you, if your case goes to trial you will possibly lose because your claims have no legal basis,” Lee said. She said the only money she could get was the air fare.

Gabo was given 15 minutes to decide on whether to proceed. She called up somebody for advice and when she returned to the court, she said she was withdrawing her claim.

But minutes after she had signed a withdrawal statement and Lee had left the courtroom, the Filipina realized she had unintentionally dropped even her claim for air ticket.  

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