DFA hires best lawyers in brutal death of Mindanao nursing aide

September 18, 2010 6:13 am 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, Sept. 17 — The Philippine government will hire the best lawyers to prosecute the abusers of a Filipino woman from Mindanao who died Sept. 8 in Saudi Arabia from apparent chemical poisoning and multiple stab wounds on her body, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.

DFA has not named any suspects yet in the death of Romelyn Eroy Ybanez, who was found by local police authorities dying in the kitchen of her employer’s home in Al-Khobar.

She was deployed to the Middle East only last May 31 supposedly as a nursing aide but ended up a domestic helper. No theory was offered as to why she was brutalized.

Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Antonio Villamor said the best legal services will be funded through the expanded Legal Assistance Fund (LAF), one of the programs for Filipino workers overseas that was not slashed from the new proposed DFA budget.

A report of the incident from the Philippine embassy in Riyadh indicates she was found by the police with stab wounds on her neck, abdomen and wrist, as well as acid burns on her mouth area, arms and legs. A nearly empty container of sulfuric acid was recovered from the scene.

Ybanez was immediately taken by the Red Crescent to the King Fahd Hospital but she soon died from loss of blood and acid ingestion.

In the aftermath of the brutality, the embassy was directed by DFA Secretary Alberto Romulo to work closely with the Saudi police and other appropriate authorities for the immediate and thorough investigation on her death and to facilitate the immediate repatriation of her remains.

DFA has contacted Ybanez’s relatives in Cotabato and is extending all needed assistance, DFA claims.

It has also recommended that her recruitment agency, the PRA Solidworks Manpower Resources and Promotion, be investigated immediately by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration for alleged contract violation and to suspend its license to deploy. (PNA)

RMA/GJB

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