MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government filed a complaint against the employer of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Marcelo Tanyag who died in Saudi Arabia on June 1 allegedly after exhibiting coronavirus symptoms but was not taken to the hospital.
“Meron po din tayong inilahad na complaint dun sa kanilang employer because of the questionable circumstances under which he died,” Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Adnan Alonto said over the government Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday, June 10.
(We filed a complaint against the employer because of the questionable circumstances under which he died.)
“We’re going to meet also with their ministry of labor here, to bring forth this particular matter because if what we heard and saw in the video are true, that constitutes employer neglect, gusto natin panagutin ang employer niya sa nangyari sa kanya,” said Alonto.
(We want to hold his employer accountable for what happened to him.)
Before his death, Tanyag was able to record and post a video of himself pleading for help. (READ: OFWs struggle through prolonged quarantine in gov’t ‘VIP treatment’)
In between coughing fits, Tanyag said he was very weak but only mustering enough strength to post the video.
“Pinipilit ko na lang pong mag record kahit po hirap na hirap na po ako. Sa totoo lang ilang araw na kong humihingi ng tulong na dalhin na ko sa ospital, ilang araw na po. Nung May 23 pa nagsimula ang sakit ko, hanggang ngayon. Dadalhin nila ako, pagkatapos clinic lang. Ibabalik din ako sa villa. Tapos makikiusap nanaman ako. Hanggang sa paulit ulit,” said Tanyag.
(I’m forcing myself to record this video even though I am so weak. I’ve been asking for help, to bring me to the hospital, I’ve been sick since May 23, but they would take me to the clinic and bring me back again to the villa. Then I’ll ask for help again. It’s the same thing happening again and again.)
On the day Tanyag recorded his video, he said he was put in isolation and in quarantine.
“Hindi ko na po alam ang gagawin ko, nanghihina na po ako. Sa totoo lang malapit na akong sumuko (I don’t know what to do, I am so weak and I’m so close to giving up)” said Tanyag in the video.
His son Frinj told radio GMA News DZBB that the villa supervisor did not follow the clinic’s instructions to bring his father to the hospital.
Alonto said there was some delay in repatriating Tanyag’s remains because of coronavirus guidelines. Tanyag’s remains will be tested for coronavirus, said Alonto. (READ: Stuck and undocumented: A transiting OFW’s tough choice)
Alonto said the Philippine embassy will claim on Tanyag’s behalf end of service and company insurance benefits to turn over to his family.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will also extend help, said Alonto. – Rappler.com
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