PILI, CAMARINES SUR: Ana Fe Velasco-Bania, 38, mother of three from Pili, Camarines Sur, was full of life when she left the country in 2015 to work in the Kingdom of Saudie Arabia (KSA). A documented migrant worker, her employer shouldered her expenses to work abroad under the Fair Recruitment in the Philippines (FAIR).
A local recruiter, Speed Continental Employment Agency Inc., sent Ana Fe to KSA as a domestic helper through Amal Al Awa El For Recruiting agency in April 2015.
In Riyadh, Her employer Yahya Muhamad Ali Alyami paid her a monthly compensation of $400 for 24 months at Hasan Alsyekh, Alyamamah, Nazran, KSA.
“Ana Fe is my eldest daughter. She and her husband, a construction worker, have three sons. She decided to work abroad to give her children a better life, send them to school until college, rebuild their home and to recover the less-than-a-hectare rice land leased to our relative for almost P200,000,” Maria Francia Velasco said.
Velasco said Ana Fe worked and served two masters being on-call to a family friend of her legitimate employer, a violation of the original work contract.
Alyami was kind but her second master was cruel and maltreated her as Ana Fe told her mother during their previous communications.
Then, barely four months before Ana Fe’s work contract ends in December 2017, Velasco received a call saying her daughter died of cardiovascular illness or heart attack on September 29.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) requested for the immediate repatriation of Ana Fe’s remains back to Philippines. It arrived at the Legazpi City Domestic Airport on November 2.
Ana Fe’s grieving family received her cadaver through the assistance of the OWWA regional office which immediately transported it to Nabua town, Camarines Sur where it was embalmed.
“My daughter’s cadaver has bruises all over. That could be the consequence of the maltreatment by her second employer,” Velasco said.
In the course of the examination, Ana Fe’s youngest son James Bryan, 5, asked them to wake his mother so he can hug her.
“We didn’t know what to do and how to explain to a five-year-old boy that his mother will no longer wake up and could no longer kiss and hug him. That he is now motherless,” Velasco said between sobs.
A wake was held at their home in the outlying village of Binobong with unpaved and muddy road. Her family lives in an unfinished partially concrete house with earth flooring and one shared room.
Ana Fe’s eldest son Leejan Mark, 18, is in grade 12 and Steven, 16, in grade 9 at Binobong High School while James Bryan is in kindergarten at Pili Central School.
Her husband Ferdinand, 39, said he wanted his wife’s body to undergo an autopsy to find out the cause of her death but budgetary constraints prevented this.
A medical report from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Hospital, Ministry of Health King Khaled Hospital, a doctor Alexander said Ana Fe succumbed to death due to a stroke (acute cerebrovascular accident). But Ana Fe’s family doubts the doctor’s findings.
“If government officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs will help me out, I will pursue the case against the employers of my wife. But, if there’s nobody willing to help us, I can not do anything about it because I don’t have the capacity to pursue the case,” he said.
Ana Fe was found dead by her original employer at King Khaled Hospital in Riyadh after working for a week at her second employer’s home. On September 23, her employer’s friend obtained her services for three days.
Last October 4, five days after Ana Fe’s demise, Ferdinand, received a video from her friend showing Ana Fe crying and asking for help because she was sick but her employer was still forcing her to work.
Ferdinand said his wife was also being maltreated. Unfortunately the video sent to him a week after Ana Fe died could no longer be retrieved.
Ana Fe’s family hopes that OWWA and DFA will extend their assistance to pursue a thorough investigation on her case so that justice will be served.
Fatima Dazal, Overseas Workers Welfare officer 3 of the OWWA regional office here admitted that Ana Fe succumbed to death at her second employer’s home but they could not trace or track down the name of the second employer.