MANILA -- Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said the Philippine government will pursue the filing of charges against an Arab employer who poured boiling water on a Filipina household helper working in Saudi Arabia.
Binay, who serves as Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers' (OFW) Concerns, said in a statement that he has ordered the Special Concerns Unit of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) to coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh to get updates on the case and pursue the necessary legal actions.
"Kalunos-lunos po ang dinanas ng ating kababayan. No person deserves to be treated that way. Kung mapapatunayan natin na minaltrato siya, magsasampa tayo ng kaso at sisiguraduhin natin na mabibigyan siya ng hustisya," he added.
Binay said he has also instructed the OVP Special Concerns Unit to coordinate with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to verify if the OFW was legally employed, and check other forms of assistance that can be given to the OFW.
News of the the incident spread when photos of Fatma (not her real name), showing burns on her back and legs, were posted by her cousin on Facebook last Saturday (May 17).
These photos went viral, with many netizens expressing support and prayers for Fatma.
Fatma, who is from Pikit, North Cotabato, said she had been working for the Arab family for only two months before the incident. She was not given her salary or provided with proper meals.
Last May 4, her employer's mother got angry after Fatma did not immediately bring her coffee.
The old woman grabbed the thermos and poured boiling water on Fatma.
It took a few hours before she was even brought to the hospital to be treated for her burns.
Fatma, who has children ages 11 months and 4 years old back in the Philippines, appealed for help in filing a case against her abusive employer.