SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
Ina Alleco R. Silverio writes this article about “Marissa,” who was raped and stabbed in Kuwait by a traffic enforcement officer. Overseas Filipino/a Workers (OFWs), who are pushed overseas by government programs, are constantly under threat of harassment from overseas governments, employers, and law enforcement. Many times human rights victims overseas are made “double-victims” or “triple-victims” by a local employer, the host government, and often times the Philippine government which tries to “save face” with the host government by trying to sweep any problems and issues of OFWs under the carpet.
Migrante-Middle East (M-ME), a Filipino migrants rights group, today asked Philippine officials in Kuwait to extend all the needed assistance to an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was reportedly raped and stabbed by a law enforcer in Kuwait.
In a report filed by Michelle Fe Santiago in the local news daily Arab Times on October 8, a Filipina was said to have been raped and stabbed several times by a lance corporal at the General Traffic Department on the early morning of Oct 1. The victim who has since been named “Marissa,” was left half dead in the South Surra area. Patrol officers found her lying near the King Fahad Expressway opposite Kuwait International Fairs Ground.
Marissa, 27, is described in the Arab Times report as a single mother and a native of T’Boli in South Cotabato. When interviewed by Santiago, the reporter said that Marisss could barely move and cried because of teh wounds on her back and neck.
Marissa first came to Kuwait on Sept 12, 2006 and worked as a household service worker until 2009 and later on worked at a Farwaniya.
“I came here to work for my son and family,” she told the Arab Times. She then said the Kuwaiti police had already brought the suspect to the hospital and presented him to her for identification.
“The Aquino govt. should not let this pass. It must instruct the PH embassy officials in Kuwait to provide all the needed assistance to OFW Marissa including hiring of local lawyer to pursue her case against the culprit,” M-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said.
Monterona added that the PH embassy in Kuwait must ensure that there will be no cover up and see to it that the culprit will be sent to jail and sentenced.
Monterona added that he had already sent a communication to PH labor attaché David Des Dicang requesting for an update and status of OFW Marissa as per request from the latter’s kin in the Philippines.
‘We also monitored about 6 cases of mysterious death involving OFWs in Kuwait last year,” Monterona added.
Kuwait is one of the notorious destinations of Filipino household service workers.
‘That’s why we were surprised why the DFA and DoLE-POEA certified Kuwait as ‘safe’ destination of OFWs,” Monterona stressed.
“So, for the nth time, we will repeatedly ask ‘Where’s the protection for our OFWs especially household service workers in the Middle East as promised by Pres. Aquino?” Monterona concluded.