File Charges Against Employer of Abused OFW in Saudi, Legarda Tells PHL Gov’t

May 26, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today urged the Philippine government to pursue charges against those responsible for the abuse of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Pahima Alagasi Palacasi.

Through a Senate Resolution, Legarda urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to exercise the Doctrine of Parens Patriae in pursuing the filing of the appropriate charges against the employer, recruitment agency and other individuals responsible for the abuse against Palacasi.

The Doctrine of Parens Patriae is defined as the inherent power and authority of the state to provide protection to every citizen especially to those persons who are incapable of defending themselves due to their limited capability.

Palacasi, a domestic helper in Riyadh, sustained second-degree burns from her back down to her legs after her employer scalded her with boiling water.

Photos of the maltreated OFW went viral on social networking sites, triggering uproar among netizens who are now calling for justice.

“The inhumane treatment inflicted on Ms. Palacasi is a clear case that deserves immediate action by the government through legal action. The individuals who are responsible for such cruel conduct deserve a distinct place in jail,” Legarda said.

The Senator said that such drastic action against Palacasi’s perpetrators will serve as a stern warning against abusive employers of OFWs and a deterrent to the rampant practice of maltreatment suffered by Filipinos especially those in the vulnerable household service sector.

“The government’s action on this case will send a strong message to the more than two million OFWs abroad that the Philippine government is absolutely serious in uplifting their rights even in a foreign jurisdiction,” Legarda concluded.***