46 Pinays jailed in
Angel L. Tesorero
Dubai, UAE – Forty-six Filipina migrant workers were rounded up by the Ajman police at their company accommodation on Villa 72, 159th Street in Ajman, an emirate 35 kms northeast of Dubai, early Thursday morning following complaints from their neighbors who thought something “unusual” was happening in the housing compound which is off-limits to males.
Those arrested were part of the 84 contractual workers who have been earlier reported living without electricity and potable water bearing intense heat that goes as high as 39°C for more than a month now. Their employer has vanished without paying the utility bills and two months of their salaries.
The migrant workers were roused from their sleep by female officers in abaya (local dress for females) and policemen directing flashlights and shouting at them. They were all sleeping in the front yard and on the roof top because it was too hot inside their rooms.
They were recruited by Al Farabi Manpower Service in
Filipino Community (FilCom) leaders in
But apparently the neighbors were alerted that a lot of people particularly men were going to the place even at night bringing food, water and medical supplies, according to Philippine Labor Attache Amilbahar Amilasan.
The police, responding to calls from the neighbors, checked on the situation and found out that the Filipinas have expired visas and sent them to the Immigration and Detention Cell in Al Aweer,
Amilasan said he immediately responded to the situation and sought the release of the migrant workers who filed a case against their employer in a
Menwhile, Migrante-UAE said the entire incident could have been prevented if only POLO-OWWA acted “prudently on the case and right away took custody of the victims as soon as their water and electricity were cut off.”
“We put the blame entirely on our inutile POLO-OWWA officers. We called their attention almost a month ago and asked them to house our kababayans at the POLO-OWWA Migrant Centre,” Yuri Cipriano, Migrante-UAE chairperson said.
“What is more appalling is that this happened on the eve of President Aquino’s 100 days in office. Isn’t it ironic that our government is not leading us (OFWs) to a straight path of economic recovery but to a jail of misery?” Cipriano added.
In an interview with GMANews.TV, Amilasan admitted they could not immediately accommodate the 84 workers from Ajman since the Centre in Abu Hail,
“A case has already been filed in the courts and the workers initially opted to stay in their accommodation to seek out part time jobs,” Amilasan added.
Liza Concepcion, newly-elected chairperson of the Filipino Community in