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Two Filipina victims of physical abuse and attack seek prompt justice
January 15, 2014, 10:19 am

Two Filipinas, both victims of physical attacks by local authorities and abuses by employer, appeal that justice be served promptly. The Filipinas who work as fitness instructor for a local women’s gym and the other a house helper filed legal cases immediately after the attacks but amidst embassy’s quick assistance has slowed down the legal process. The Times interviews the victims and provided updates on their cases.

“Jenny” a fitness instructor, beaten up by a local authority and prompted by her gym’s “Mandoop” (office messenger) inside a local ministry office sometime in July 2013.  A legal case has been filed against her attacker by the Philippine Embassy under the directive of the Consul General Atty. Raul Dado. The case raised criticisms from columnists and reporters against local authorities who were sworn to protect nationals and residents of the country and a society which failed to express compassion for the victim. The case dragged few more months due to reasons that the attack happened during the fasting month and that officials were not available to attend to investigations and the victim’s physical conditions to appear before the police station and file the case. Jenny suffered two broken arms, neck, and head trauma and had her knee operated four times due to severe injuries.

Consul General Atty. Dado told Times that Jenny’s attacker was detained but is currently out on bail and that the embassy continuously appeals for her case. Fitness instructors urged the embassy to look into Jenny’s case promptly and those six months is sufficient to have accomplished the investigation convict the assailant and incarcerated. “The process has lagged and we are afraid that Jenny’s case will soon face desertion due to heap of legal lawsuits, which the embassy has to attend. This case needs to surface to highlight such inhuman act, which can happen not only among foreign nationals but locals as well”, commented a fitness instructor.

A Kuwaiti national who requested anonymity told The Times “We need to act together and protect our safety, if this can happen to foreign nationals, in no time we will suffer the same fate”.

Fitness instructors also question as to why the Egyptian “Mandoop” was not arrested and faced investigations and continuously work for the gym providing transport to female instructors to and from their accommodations. “This man is definitely a risk to the safety of the women, we are fitness instructors and our clients place their trust and respect so we can mentor their health, regardless of their profession, no one deserves to be treated this way  added the fitness instructor.

Jenny believes that the embassy is doing its best to resolve her case and put behind bars her assailant but what is keeping the case last this long need to be addressed. Another fitness instructor questioned “Could it be that the lawyer hired by the embassy is not capable to resolve such case or the embassy should hire another lawyer of better caliber?”

Jenny expressed her gratitude to her employer for providing full support by allowing her to receive full salary while she recuperates, however since it has been six months and that no development has occurred on her case, Jenny fears that she will not be receiving her salary by the end of January and that her services will be terminated by her employer. Jenny appeals to the embassy for prompt action to resolve her situation.

As for Charito Mabuna, a house helper who was allegedly pushed off the window by her employer has fast recuperated and now resides at the shelter of the embassy. Mabuna accused her employer of constant physical abuse such as repetitive beating and pouring of boiling water on her body. She also suffered head trauma which resulted to 24 stitches, broken elbow caused by a metal pot used by employer to hit her head, bruises and burns on her skin and major operation on the spine after she was pushed off the window. 

After few weeks at Razi Hospital, Mabuna finally was released to continue her recuperation at the shelter. She told The Times that she has fast recuperated and now can walk with little assistance. She also expressed her gratitude to the embassy for looking after her case and that she needs to stay strong so she can defend her grounds on the first court hearing sooner. Her agency representative also assured Charito of full assistance and attention. 

Consul General Dado told the The Times that both cases of Mabuna and Jenny are currently being handled by the lawyer of the embassy and will continuously pursue the case and bring the assailants to justice. “Our desire to see these victims win these cases and their assailants apprehended for their crimes is our main objective and we will not leave stones unturned  for these women to earn their rights”, concluded Atty. Dado.

Ricky Laxa
Staff Writer
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