Blast victim's wife refuses Ayala, Abenson settlement
MANILA, Philippines – The wife of one of the Serendra blast victims said she did not accept the settlement offered by Abenson, Ayala Land, and her husband’s agency.
Myla Umali, 31, wife of Jeffrey Umali, one of the 3 Abenson outsourced employees who died after a powerful explosion at Two Serendra, said she’s still considering filing charges against developer Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) because they “still haven’t agreed on anything.”
“No settlement yet. I haven’t signed any waiver. I did not accept their offer,” Umali told Rappler in an interview.
The Umalis have two children: 4-year-old JM and 9-month-old Ella. In a previous interview, Myla Umali said her husband worked as a driver of Abenson for nearly 3 years and was saving up for the children’s education.
Umali said she met with Abenson on Tuesday, June 18, and both Ayala and Abenson on Thursday, June 20 at her husband’s agency, VSA Manpower Resources, Inc. in Panay, Quezon City.
Umali disclosed she had her own lawyer with her after refusing to accept VSA’s offer of providing her one from the agency. Umali’s lawyer, Atty. Aurora Soriano, is her cousin’s wife.
“[Jeffrey’s] agency didn’t want me to get my own lawyer but I thought their lawyer would be [biased] for them so I brought my own lawyer,” Umali said.
Umali earlier disclosed to Rappler that she already received “financial help” of around P50,000 from Ayala during her husband’s wake. But she said this payment should not stop her from filing charges against ALI because she did not sign “any waiver to file legal actions.”
Umali said her lawyer would schedule another meeting with Abenson and Ayala officials in Quezon City next week.
Umali said she finally agreed to meet with Abenson and ALI on Tuesday after earlier refusal because she “is still confused and grieving the death” of her husband. ALI, however, did not show up during the Tuesday meeting according to Umali.
Umali said Abenson offered her "financial assistance" for her children worth P5,000 a month for 15 years but she declined.
“My lawyer and I declined because we were expecting an educational plan [for the children],” Umali said.
Umali said VSA Manpower Resources Inc., also offered her the “insurance” of her husband worth P 100,000 but she also refused to accept it.
Umali disclosed to Rappler she did not accept the “insurance” from the agency because of “inconsistencies” with VSA and insurance company, the Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company (Philam Life).
Umali said she called Philam Life on June 14 to clarify the insurance of her husband with VSA.
“When I called Philam, they told me [my husband’s insurance] was already terminated by his agency. That’s what they told me, if it wasn’t terminated, the agency did not renew it,” Umali said.
When Umali asked VSA about it, the agency said they would just “shoulder the P 100,000” and they “will just process the insurance with Philam.” She added VSA told her that if the agency won’t get the insurance from Philam, the money would remain with her.
Confused, Umali said she did not accept the insurance of her husband from VSA because she wanted to make sure of “the exact amount of insurance signed [by her husband] in 2010.”
When asked by Rappler on what she got out of the Tuesday meeting, Umali disclosed she only received the remaining salary of her husband including a 13th month pay from VSA. Umali said she got around P16,000.
“Sobra na nga ang nangyari sa asawa ko. Hindi kumpleto na nga ang asawa ko nung burol, nasa SOCO pala yung thumb niya. Hindi man lang nila binigay sa akin nung wake,” Umali said adding her husband’s watch was also not returned to her. (What happened to my husband was extreme. He wasn’t even complete during his wake. SOCO had his thumb. They [SOCO] didn’t even give it to us during the wake.)
Umali also said “there was no settlement reached" during the Thursday meeting. – Rappler.com