OFW mysterious death

WE want her corpse back home’

This was the appeal made by the kin of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who reportedly died of unknown circumstances in Saudi Arabia, according to a Filipino migrants’ rights group.

In an electronic mail to Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, Jonabel Segador said her aunt OFW Naomi Dela Salde Umacob, 27 years old, from Lupon, Davao Oriental, who works as a housekeeper in Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia.

OFW Umacob is an elementary education graduate and passed the licensure examination for teacher (LET) on 2007 but was forced to work abroad as she could not find a job and also to help her family.

She was deployed early 2010 by a Manila-based recruitment agency named Asmara International Placement Agency, Inc., according to Jonabel on a phone conversation with M-ME’s Monterona.

“She never mentioned any serious problem on her work or with her employer. Not until the third week of July this year that we can’t contact her anymore, neither her phone nor on her Facebook,” said Jonabel.

Months ago, the family of OFW Umacob received an unconfirmed report that she was imprisoned that prompted her father in Davao Oriental to seek assistance from her recruiter and was told that ‘all are in process’ to assist OFW Umacob.

On 20th November this year, the family of OFW Umacob received the sad news that she was dead four months ago.

“So painful that it had to be 4 straight months before we knew she was already gone! Police report said she committed SUICIDE. It’s so hard to think that way and we don’t believe she did it to herself. DFA-Mindanao had shown us her ticket that was dated July 22, 2012 which supposedly her flight back home. She was about to be home then she committed it? It’s hard to believe,” Jonable lamented.

OFW Umacob’s family pleaded to DFA regional office in Mindanao to seek for reinvestigation but there were no updates yet given to the family, Monterona citing Jonabel’s email to him.

“We want to know what really happened to her. We strongly believe she was killed,” stressed Jonabel.

Monterona said Umacob’s family in Davao Oriental desperately pleading that the remains of OFW Naomi Dela Salde Umacob will be sent home which until now has not yet been repatriated.

“We are calling the Department of Foreign Affairs and the PH embassy in Saudi Arabia to probe this case and if necessary arrange for reinvestigation as requested by the family,” Monterona added.

Monterona added that the PH embassy should also work and ensure that the remains of OFW Umacob will be repatriated to give her a decent burial according to the wishes of her family in Davao Oriental.

Monterona noted this year his group already monitored 6 cases of OFWs mysterious death working in the Middle East. “On previous years, we have monitored eight to twelve OFWs whose deaths were not factually established and their families doubted the circumstances of their death.”

“The Aquino administration’s promise of providing on-site protection to our OFWs especially Filipino domestic workers remains a promise and is only an empty campaign slogan,” the Saudi-based OFW leader concluded.

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