17 March 2013
Fourty (40) days after Alona Bagayan, an OFW from Kalayaan, Laguna allegedly committed suicide in Dubai, her kin can only hold and look at her portrait, shed tears and wish that her body be brought home soon.
Her younger sister, Maricel, was shedding tears while explaining to family members and some press people that an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) told her that investigation on the case is still going on, 40 days after Alona’s death.
“Sana naman mapabilis pa ang imbetigasyon, namimiss na namin si Ate. Hinihintay din namin ang hustisya,” Maricel told a small gathering of friends and supporters at their residence in San Antonio, Kalayaan, Laguna.
The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) is also getting disappointed with the slow-pace investigation. “Fourty days have passed and yet the family does not have access to basic information such as on Alona’s employer, her address in Dubai where she was found dead, and even a picture of her remains. Facing a blank wall is more depressing for the Bagayan family,” said PM spokesperson Wilson Fortaleza.
A mother of four, Alona Bagayan left Kalayaan for Dubai to work as domestic helper. She was deployed abroad by the Al-Masiyah Overseas Placement Agency, Inc. with office in Ermita, Manila. The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) has suspended the operations of Al-Masiyah.
“She was a happy mother when she left thus her relatives strongly doubt that she would commit suicide after less than a week,” added Fortaleza.
The labor group stressed that overseas Filipino workers have been instrumental in keeping the Philippine economy afloat despite the global financial crisis . Unfortunately the government and related agencies remain negligent and unprepared to deal with the many risks our OFWs are facing abroad.
The government also failed to address the growing unemployment problems through strategic programs that will generate regular jobs.
Regular jobs and a living wage is part of Partido ng Manggagawa’s “Apat na Dapat” demands this election period. Other demands are social services (health, education); lower prices for basic commodities (food, LPG, petroleum products, water, electricity); and protection and equal opportunities for women.