OWWA: Foul play seen in deaths of some OFWs from Saudi

Published June 22, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Some of the deceased overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Saudi Arabia may have died due to foul play, an official of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said on Monday, June 22.


OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in a radio interview that one of the remains of the OFWs sent home last weekend had bruises, a possible indication of foul play.

“‘Yung isang sinalubong namin nong Biyernes ay nababalot sa ganyang klaseng sitwasyon (Yes, yes, one of those we received last Friday, June 19, may be involved in that kind of situation). Pina-autopsy nga namin sa Bulacan at ngayon isinasagawa at hinihintay ‘yung result ng otopsiya (We had the body undergo autopsy in Bulacan and we are now waiting for the result),” he told DWIZ on Monday morning, when asked if there was a possible foul play in the deaths of the OFWs whose remains are being sent back home from Saudi Arabia.

“Pero ‘yong forensic report pa lang sa Saudi — although may kulang ng isang pahina, pinapakuha natin — mukhang meron talagang foul play (But based on the forensic report from Saudi — although we are still requesting a missing page from it — it appears that that there was a really foul play). Maraming mga pasa sa katawan ‘yong kababayan natin (Several bruises were seen on his body),” Cacdac added.

He said the deceased OFW arrived in the country via a commercial flight and was received by officials from OWWA and his relatives.

The Manila Bulletin has reached out to Cacdac for further details about the deceased OFW. He has yet to reply as of writing.

The OWWA chief was interviewed about the return of the remains of the OFWs who died due to COVID-19 and other causes.

Authorities said at least 50 of the 282 deceased OFWs died of COVID-19. They will not be brought home to the country and will instead be buried there.

As to the others, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave the Philippines 72 hours to retrieve the remains of the Filipino nationals.

Cacdac said the government has been coordinating with Saudi officials for the return of the remains of the deceased OFWs.

“Sila ay nasa iba’t ibang mga lugar. Merong mga nasa morgue, merong mga nasa ospital (They are in various areas in Saudi, some are in the morgue, while some are in hospitals),” he said.

“Sa ngayon, sinasaayos natin, our embassy, our consulate in Saudi na maibalik sila at mabigyan ng nararapat na seremonya na sang-ayon sa kultura natin (Right now, we are working on this, our embassy, our consulate in Saudi, are working to bring them back to our country and give them the proper burial in accordance with our cultures),” he continued.

He said they will arrange a chartered cargo flight to bring the deceased OFWs home.