Kin of Igorot OFW who fell to death in Abu Dhabi demands justice
BAGUIO, Philippines – A relative of Mary Jean Balag-ey Alberto, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who fell to her death from the 13th floor of an Abu Dhabi building she was working at, said it is impossible that her cousin went to a foreign country just to kill herself instead of working for her family's future.
"Walang dahilan para mag-suicide ang aming pinsan sa Abu Dhabi. Bilang isang ina, ipinikit niya ang kaniyang mga mata at pumunta sa abroad para may ipapadalang pera sa mga anak," Lilian Falyao, Alberto's cousin, said on Monday, October 14.
(Our cousin has no reason to kill herself in Abu Dhabi. As a mother, she closed her eyes and went to work abroad so that she can send money to her children.)
Alberto is a Bontok Kankana-ey of Bontoc, Mountain Province. She was married to Rodel Alberto of Antipolo, Rizal, but the couple separated. She left behind 3 children.
According to Falyao, the OFW was only on her third month in the Middle East. She said that Alberto applied for the job of a driver, but when she arrived in Abu Dhabi, she ended up as a domestic helper for a Moroccan family.
Falyao said they suspect that Alberto was pushed to her death by her Moroccan employer. Falyao said that before Alberto's death, she sent text messages to her sister who is also working in the same country, telling her that she was being maltreated by her employers and not being paid.
According to Falyao, Alberto told her sister that she prefers to be jailed by the police to be free from her ordeal under her employers. She said the message was sent 12 hours prior to her death.
"Hanggang October 2, doon siya namatay, nahulog daw siya (Until October 2, she died there, they said she fell)," Falyao said.
Falyao said they are appealing to the concerned agencies and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi to help with the investigation into their kin's death. She said if Alberto's employer is really the one responsible for her death, he should be punished. The family also demands that Alberto's body be sent home immediately.
She said the Department of Foreign Affairs is still waiting for the results of the forensic investigation before doing something. According to her, it's very painful for those waiting for the repatriation of Alberto's body as they cannot do anything but wait. – Rappler.com