Malik Darimbang, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, arrived in the country last Wednesday after a grueling six-year struggle to be repatriated.
Darimbang had been stuck in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after he got involved in a road accident in 2014 that led to the death of a Pakistani national.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has been instrumental in his successful repatriation.
Through the efforts of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh led by Ambassador Adnan Alonto, Political Officer Alexander Joseph Estomo of the same embassy, the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah headed by Consul General Ed Badajos, the Office of the President, the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA), involved charity groups, and private donors a Zoom meeting on the repatriation of Darimban.
The Zoom meeting was conducted together with Go in September 2020 to help the OFW go back home.
According to the senator from Davao, a private donor offered to pay for the blood money amounting to US$40,090.38 for the settlement of Darimbang’s case.
“So, ang ginawa ko po, mayroong isang kaibigan na nagkausap po kami noong isang araw, nagkataon lang po na mayroong pagtitipon, naikuwento ko po ito at hindi po siya nag-dalawang-isip na tutulong po kaagad,’’ go said. (So, what I did, I talked to a friend in a gathering the other day, and I narrated to him the story of [Darimbang] and he immediately offered to help.)
Philippine officials then took the steps needed to bring about the release of Darimbang from the obligation so he could return home.
The transfer of funds for Darimbang’s blood money was made in October and November, after which a clearance from the Saudi court was given.
A final exit visa for Darimbang was issued by the Shumaisy Jawazat deportation center on December 1, 2020.
Go expressed his elation on the OFW’s arrival to the country.
Darimbang, who hails from Marawi City, expressed his relief and gratitude for the help provided to him.
“Opo, sir, gusto ko ng makauwi kasi nami-miss ko na mga pamilya ko sir eh. Sampung taon na ako dito, hindi pa ako nakakauwi,’’ Darimbang said during an earlier Zoom meeting. (Yes sir, I want to go home as I am already missing my family. It’s been ten years, I left the country.)
Darimbang’s journey to the Kingdom started in 2010 after being hired by a company as a driver for heavy machinery trucks. Based in Makkah, he got involved in a vehicular accident on February 2014 resulting to the death of a Pakistani national.
Since his company failed to resolve his case, the Saudi Lower Court of Makkah issued a court order stating that Darimbang is also equally liable for the accident. He was ordered to pay the amount of 150,000 Saudi Riyals which is over two million in Philippine currency.
Speaking to the press on Wednesday, December 16, Darimbang’s son, Saripoden Ipo Modin Abdul, also expressed his elation towards the good news and thanked Go for helping to bring home his father.
Ashleya Limbona, a member of Arkay Lawanen from Marawi City and who has been helping Darimbang, also shared their gratitude to the government for their help.
Meanwhile, President Duterte has certified as urgent Senate Bill (SB) 1949 — the newest version of a measure filed by Senator Go providing for the creation of a Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOFil).