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House helper unharmed after reports alleged her missing
August 31, 2013, 5:19 pm

An uncorroborated report posted about a house helper in Kuwait on the Facebook was sufficient to create enough chaos among her family members, government institution and the Philippines assembly only to be found untrue.

“I have no idea that such post in the Facebook made by my husband created chaos among my family members and recruitment agency, a government institution in the Philippines and the Philippine Embassy” stated Jenny Bautista, a 33 years old Filipina house helper, who ran away from her employer’s house, took refuge in a friend’s house and her picture was posted by the husband on Facebook missing, suspected beaten and tongue cut.

 Bautista told The Times that what was posted on Facebook was untrue although she admitted that she suffered maltreatment from four of her employer’s family members on the 16th of August, the day before she ran away. Bautista said that she was caught by her employer trying out a dress, which was used and about to be thrown away.

 “I was terrified because she was so angry and I felt they will hurt me anytime, I called my husband in the Philippines and advised him what happened, unfortunately I could not talk much, and my mobile load ran out and had no access to call him back. I believe because of these incidences, he thought my tongue was cut and beaten by my employer”, recalled Bautista.

 Bautista added that she was maltreated by her employer and children same day after she spoke to her husband. She then decided to run away early morning of the following day and sought refuge in a friend’s house for five days. Khalid Al-Azmi and Mohammed Lafeth Al-Shammery, Bautista’s agencies however were advised by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the Philippines to check the status of Bautista since they received such complaint from the husband. Eva Tendenilla and Anisa Banez, the secretaries of the agencies called the employer and were informed that indeed she ran away and that there was no truth to them beating her and cutting her tongue and that they are not criminals to do such inhuman act.

 Tendenilla and Banez immediately headed to the shelter to check Bautista but to no avail. The secretaries sought the assistance of the embassy, which in turn reported the whole incident to the local authorities. After five days missing Bautista surfaced in the agency, unharmed and her tongue intact. The agencies advised Bautista to contact her husband and report that she is in good condition and that there was no truth behind the news posted in Facebook. Bautista denied everything and said that she was just afraid after being caught wearing the dress of her employer that they will indeed harm her.

 Bautista is now in the custody of the agencies and currently working to amend the situations. “I wanted to clarify issues that I was not rescued by anyone and returned to the agency on my own and have not told anyone that my tongue was cut.  I thank my agencies for looking after my case and apologize for the chaos my husband caused. I also thank my friend who provided accommodation for five days and the embassy. My agencies have been advised by Philippines for my immediate repatriation but I still want to work here and provide for my family back home. There are no jobs for me in the Philippines and my family will suffer tremendously if I don’t continue working,” said Bautista.

Banez told The Times that they have already reported the whole incident to government institutions involved and have secured an affidavit from Bautista details of the whole incident. Banez arranges proper employment for Bautista. Tendenilla explained that the agencies always advise householder prior to deployment to immediately report by phone if not in person should they experience maltreatment and abuse including physical and verbal, inadequate food and rest  and non-payment of their salaries. “We provide them with necessary contact numbers and address of the office to report these abuses. We in turn often liaise with our Philippine based agency and conduct investigations on cases of complaints, should we need to enforce rescue on reported abused workers, and we seek the assistance of the embassy. We do appreciate the help social media does to connect people but investigations must be made prior to posting such I untrue incidences for it creates chaos and mar repute of both the institutions and individuals involved”, concluded Tendenilla.

Ricky Laxa
Staff Writer
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