A Filipina domestic helper in Saudi Arabia who went into a coma after she was allegedly raped by her employer has passed away.
Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said Irma Avila Edloy, 35, died at the King Salman Hospital in Riyadh because of severe injuries.
“The latest news is she passed away. When I visited her at the hospital, she did not look good. I even raised my voice to the attending nurses because based on what I saw she was not taken well of. She was attached to a respirator and the bandage on her lips was not clean,” said Bello in a radio interview from Jeddah.
“I tried to talk to her. I introduced myself and whispered to her to move her fingers if she can hear me but there was no response,” he added.
The nurse who took care of Edloy said the Filipina died at 11:45 p.m. on August 18.
Medical reports of Edloy showed that she sustained lacerations in her private parts. She also had multiple bruises on her face and body.
The victim arrived in Saudi Arabia on July 28 or barely a month before the alleged rape happened.
Bello said one of the nurses narrated that Edloy’s employer went to the hospital and appeared to be very tense and afraid. When the nursed asked the victim if she was maltreated, the woman pointed to her employer.
“Before she went unconscious, the nurse told me that the employer went there which elicited a reaction from Irma. The employer allegedly appeared tense and left. And when the nurse asked her if she was maltreated, she pointed to her employer. She cannot speak, she just pointed,” the Labor chief said.
But Bello voiced suspicion that Edloy may have been a victim of gang rape because of the extent of the injuries that she suffered.
“I suspect that it was not ordinary rape. It might be a gang rape although these are all speculations,” he said.
The DOLE chief said he directed the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) to work out for the immediate repatriation of the remains of the victim. He also instructed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to suspend the agency that recruited Edloy while an investigation is ongoing.
From Jeddah, Bello is proceeding to Oslo, Norway for the peace talks with the National Democratic Front. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL