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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Justice sought for death
of Negrense from Kuwait
BY CARLA GOMEZ

Migrante and the family of a gravely ill and emaciated resident of Murcia, Negros Occidental, who died shortly after her return from Kuwait, are calling for justice.

Josie Perez Lloren, 40, who had worked in Kuwait as a domestic helper for a little more than two years, was laid to rest at the Murcia public cemetery yesterday.

“We extended our utmost condolences to her family and friends and vowed to support them in their quest for justice”,Laorence Castillo, Migrante International program coordinator, said at the funeral. 

Lloren's brother, Greg Perez, said his sister who returned from Kuwait emaciated, died at a Caloocan hospital on Feb.9 and her remains arrived in Murcia on Feb. 16.

His sister, who has three sons aged 8, 11 and 20, had left for Kuwait in 2016.

She was half her original size and was very weak when she returned to the Philippines, Migrante brought her to a hospital in Caloocan but she died soon after, he said.

“We want to know what happened to my sister in Kuwait, and we are seeking government's help,” Perez, a jeepney driver who works in Cebu, said.

They are asking for justice for his sister, he said.

SENATE HEARING TOMORROW

MoninaGulmatico, Migrante Negros head, said the case of Lloren will be raised by Migrante at a Senate hearing tomorrow that will tackle the death of domestic helper Joanna Demafelis of Sara, Iloilo, who was found dead in a freezer, and other victims of abuse and maltreatment in Kuwait.

Lloren, on her return to the Philippines two weeks ago, was brought to a hospital in Caloocan where she was found to be suffering from acute ulcers and hypertension, but the cause of her death was cardio respiratory arrest secondary to cerebral vascular disease, Gulmatico said.

Lloren suffered from bleeding in Kuwait that led to her being brought back to the Philippines, Gulmatico said, adding that extreme hunger may have led to hersevere ulcer problems.

MALTREATMENT

His sister had complained that the wife of her employer had maltreated her and would sometimes lock her up and make her sleep in the comfort room, Perez said.

She complained to her agency about her maltreatment but instead of reporting what happened to her to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and allowing her to return to the Philippines, she was assigned to another employer, Gulmatico said.

Lloren was unable to renew her membership with OWWA while working for her second employer, she added.

Perez said his sister told them her second employer made her work very hard.

‘BLOODSTAINED'

“Migrante International points to the blood stained hands of Duterte as the primary culprit for his regime's failure to keep its promise of protecting the lives of OFWs. It was not too long ago when last year's execution in Kuwait of JakatiaPawa has caught the country by surprise. There was negligible response from Duterte as he is known to be a supporter of death penalty,” a Migrante statement also said yesterday.

“One year on, there's still no let-up to the ever-increasing number of brutal killings and executions perpetrated against OFWs in their host countries under Duterte's watch. Duterte himself acknowledged that there were more than a hundred OFW deaths in Kuwait last year and more than a dozen of which are currently being investigated due to possible foul play,” it added.

Filipino workers continue to clamor for the government to address the roots of forced migration and end its labor export program, the statement said.

‘MERE GRANDSTANDING'

“Duterte's hardline pronouncements against Kuwait remain mere grandstanding and sheer hypocrisy, unless problems marking labor conditions in the Philippines are resolved,” Migrante said. 

The Philippines continues to be notorious for labor woes and anti-poor policies hounding its local workforce forcing millions to search for better life abroad, it said.

“Recently, the Duterte administration enacted TRAIN or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, which spiked the prices of commodities upward,”Migrante said, adding that it “decries the heartless stance of the Duterte regime towards Filipino workers here and abroad.”

Migrante challenges Duterte to investigate erring officials who failed to look into the plight of OFWs in distress, it added.

“We call on the Duterte administration to publicize the bilateral agreement it intends to sign with Kuwait with regards to the protection of Filipino workers and ensure that the voices of OFWs will be heard and their demands be included,” it said. 

“May the perpetrators be punished as we also raise our call for justice for all the many victims of the government's negligence towards distressed migrants in dire need of immediate help,” Migrante said.*CPG

 

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