A Filipino migrants’ rights group in the Middle East today calls the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to conduct an investigation over the reported death of an overseas Filipino worker who died while in transit to the Philippines via Abu Dhabi.
“Our call for an investigation is premised on the conflicting reports we have received. OWWA official has been quoted confirming that the unnamed OFW died in Syria under the care of OWWA as she is about to be sent home, while fellow OFW repatriate named Lorelie Cortez, 37, said, as quoted on news reports, that immigration officials in Abu Dhabi left the Filipino woman under her care,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.
OFW Cortez was one of the 11 OFWs who arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport around 5 p.m. Thursday, Philippine Daily Inquirer/Inquirer.net reported.
“We are inclined to believe on the accounts by OFW Lorelie Cortez that the unnamed OFW who died while in transit Abu Dhabu International Airport was among with them, 11 OFW repatriates from Syria,” Monterona adding that he is ‘wondering why the PH embassy and OWWA officials in Syria allowed the sick OFW to travel without medical staff or assistant accompanying her.’
“Allowing a very sick OFW to travel is a gross negligence on the part of PH embassy and OWWA officials,” Monterona asserted.
“We want this investigated and impose disciplinary action, if not fired, those negligent embassy and OWWA officials with an aim that this would not happen again,” Monterona added.
Monterona is also urging the Congressional Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs (COWA) and the office of the presidential adviser on OFWs concerns headed by Vice president Jejomar Binay to look probe the death of sick OFW repatriate from Syria.
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator