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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FW: 'Unsolicited advice' to a customer sends 2 OFWs behind bars



Unaware of what will be the outcome of giving ‘unsolicited advice’ to a prospective customer, 2 OFWs who work as a mechanic for an auto shop in Saudi’s capital Riyadh, have been sent to jail by their employer who filed charges against them.


OFWs Rene (not his real name), 45, from Novaliches, Quezon City and Mario (not his real name), 31, from Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines have been arrested on August 25 last year when their employer accused them of 'selling' auto parts to a customer cheaper from its original selling price. The two OFWs are detained at the Malaz central jail in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for more than 5 months now.


Both are working as auto mechanic for Al Odib Company which auto shop is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


According to the wife of OFW Rene, who sought assistance from Migrante International-Rights and Welfare committee, her husband’s fellow OFW and co-worker Mario advised a customer on how he could save money in purchasing auto parts which was overheard and misinterpreted by their supervisor selling auto parts cheaper from its original price.


“The supervisor wrongly construed that the 2 are cheating the company by selling auto part on a cheaper price, this prompted the employer to file a case against the two,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.


Monterona said he already officially endorsed and communicated to the PHL embassy-Assistance to the Nationals section asking for an update on the status of their case.


“Based on the circumstances of their case, we are not sure what crime the two have committed; merely advising a customer how he could save does not constitute a crime, however if the jailed OFWs steal the auto parts and sell it to the customer outside the official transaction of the company, then it is another story,” Monterona added.


Monterona, however, said that the PHL embassy must hire a local lawyer for their defense. “It was known that there is no lawyer hired to defend the two in court,” the OFW leader added.


Monterona revealed that there are about 200 OFWs still languishing at the Malaz Central jail in Riyadh, many of them committed petty crimes such as illegal possession of alcohol, ‘mixed’ crowd, gambling, and illicit relationship with fellow women OFWs.


There are un-undisclosed numbers of jailed OFWs who are staying in jail despite that they have already completed their respected sentences.


“Again for the nth time now, we reiterates our call to PHL embassy officials to attend on the jailed OFWs cases with prompt intervention and provide legal assistance especially those who are still detained but have already completed their jail term and arrange for their immediate repatriation,” Monterona ended.




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