The Filipina overseas worker who was raped by her employers in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now two months pregnant.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III shared this sad news Wednesday, July 7 during a virtual press briefing wherein he gave updates on the case.
“Napakasama ng ginawa nila sa ating kababayan. Sa takot lang niya, hindi na siya nagsampa ng kaso doon at minabuti na niyang umuwi (What they did to our countryman was so wicked. Out of fear, she chose not to file a case there and instead availed of repatriation),” he said.
“Masakit man sabihin, two months nang buntis yung atin kababayan, clear proof na napagsamantalahan [siya] (It hurts for me to say this but our countryman is now two months pregnant, clear proof that she was abused),” Bello added.
A DOLE statement Tuesday said that the overseas Filipino worker (OFW), Michelle (not her real name), had just recently returned home to the Philippines.
Bello said two locals in Saudi Arabia raped Michelle on separate occasions. Both were her employers.
“Pulis pa yung unang amo niya eh, walangyang yun…Walang kwentang tao yun (Her first employer was even a policeman, how shameless is that…What a worthless person),” the DOLE chief said.
“Hopefully magkaroon siya ng lakas ng loob, bumalik siya sa Riyadh at sampahan ng reklamo yung dalawang mapagsamantalang Arabo na yun (Hopefully she musters the strength to go back to Riyadh and file cases against those two abusive Arabs),” he said.
As of now, Bello, a lawyer, said the Philippines “lacks jurisdiction” on the rape case.
Bello said that filing the case in Riyadh would allow Saudi authorities to act on it. From there, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) can extend assistance to the OFW, who Bello described as “very young”.
Should local authorities sit on the case or refuse to act on it, Bello said this could become basis for a possible deployment ban of OFWs to the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia remains the biggest market for OFWs.