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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nine months after his reported death, OFW’s remains still in Saudi


The family of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) expressed disappointment to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) when the latter recently informed them of the death of their kin who had been reportedly killed on August 1, 2010, according to the Filipino migrants rights group Migrante-Middle East.


"We suspect that there was a foul play surrounding the death of my brother why it took almost a year for the DFA to inform us," said Virgilio Dimacali, brother of Saudi-based OFW Andy Dimakali, 43, a resident of Marikina City.


OFW Andy works as a family driver for a certain Andulrahman Al-Amar in Saudi's capital Riyadh.


According to his brother Virgilio, OFW Andy was deployed by Al Mostaqbal employment agency with last known office address at Gedisco Center, Mabini St. Manila. He went to Saudi Arabia in September 2008 and about to terminate his contract in July 2010.


"We were informed that the family, who have sought assistance from us, of OFW Andy had been notified by the DFA only recently about his death, though he has been reportedly died last August 2010 in Riyadh," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator.


Monterona said for obvious reasons, the family would be pissed off upon getting the very late information from the DFA. "The sketchy information provided by the DFA official handling the case adds up to the worries of the family," Monterona quoting the OFW's nearest of kin.


"I was informed that the mother and wife of OFW Andy went to the DFA in Pasay City hoping to get detailed information about the circumstances of his death, but they were not given an official report on the death of his brother," Monterona added.


The family also claimed that during their visit to DFA, the case officer had just given them a run-around as they followed this case.


"Again, this case shows us a classic disservice and criminal neglect. We have been reporting the same recently and even many years back –mysterious cases, foul plays surrounding our OFWs deaths, no report from the DFA, the family was told too late, and remains ageing for a year in morgue's freezer- when the government could make up on these?" Monterona lamented.


Monterona said Pres. Aquino's tall order during his inaugural address to all concerned government agencies to attend on OFWs woes and concerns was not heard clear and vivid.


"Or the President could not simply lead his own fellow public officials by providing an efficient and effective public service to OFWs and their families?" Monterona asked.


He cited for instance the poor performance of the DFA's Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA), which should be in the forefront of providing efficient assistance to all its nationals especially those working abroad and in distress.


"What is OUMWA doing now?" Monterona asked.

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