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Justice elusive for family of Filipina who fell to death in Shenzhen

26 March 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Lorain's death renewed calls to stop employers bringing their helpers across the border

Nearly four years after Filipina domestic helper Lorain Asuncion fell to her death in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, her family’s search for justice has gone nowhere, as her employers cannot be found.

Only a little money may be in store for her relatives, after an insurance company from which the employers had taken cover for the 28-year-old worker agreed on mediation to settle claims filed as a result of her death.

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This was disclosed today, Mar 26, by a lawyer representing the family of Asuncion, whose badly injured body was found in a flower bed outside a building at the Vanke No.5 Garden residential estate in Shenzhen on July 24, 2017.

Three autopsies conducted on her remains concluded that there was no foul play involved, indicating suicide.

Evelyn Tsao, a partner at Patricia Ho & Associates law office in Wanchai, said Asuncion’s Chinese male employer Gu Huaiyi is no longer at his contractual address at 10B, One Silversea, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon and at his known addresses on the mainland.


Tsao was assigned by human rights lawyer Patricia Ho as the solicitor in charge of the civil claims filed on behalf of Asuncion’s family at the District Court.

Tsao says an insurer has agreed to mediation to settle the claim

Tsao said Blue Cross Insurance HK, the insurer, is agreeable to mediation. She said the law firm had plans to seek compensation from the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board but before they could go to the Fund Board, the insurer said it would defend the proceedings. Just very recently Blue Cross suggested mediation because they are inclined to settle the case, Taso said.

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This was the same reason given by the Hong Kong Labour Department when it declined to investigate Asuncion's death.

Tsao said she could not say yet how much how the settlement would amount to, as the parties have yet to agree on a date for mediation.

Earlier, Ho said that the case was moving towards mediation, with a still undetermined amount to be paid to Asuncion’s beneficiaries to settle the claim.

She said the money would likely come from the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund, which covers payments relating to work-related injuries or death which a court may rule as payable by employers, as well as legal costs.

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“But there would be no justice for Lorain as her employers cannot be found to take responsibility for her death,” she lamented.

Ho laments that justice won't be served Lorain until her employers are found

Asuncion’s sister Jenevieve A. Javier echoed Ho’s sentiment. She said in a message to The SUN that the employer should have at least appeared in court to show good faith, instead of fleeing from his responsibility.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

On July 23 last year, the third anniversary of Asuncion’s death, the District Court issued summons to Gu in his last known address at One Silversea, after he ignored several notices for hearings. But he never responded.

Gu, then 47 years old, was arrested by the police shortly after Asuncion’s death in 2017, along with his  32-year-old wife surnamed Liu. But they were later released, with the police citing “lack of evidence” to support a charge against them.

(For more insight into this case, please read:


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