Abused OFW jumps off employer's home in Kuwait

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2012 10:45 AM | Updated as of Aug 03 2012 02:13 AM

KUWAIT – A Filipina household service worker said she was left with no other choice but to jump off from the second floor of her employer's home to escape the abuse she experienced at the hands of her female boss.

“Kaya po ako tumalon sa second floor dahil sa sobrang pananakit ng amo ko. Ilang araw akong di pinakain,” said Margie Pontillas.

Aside from the fractured right foot and broken toe nail, Pontillas had bite marks on her left arm and right forefinger.

“Kinagat pa niya ako sa kamay, kinagat pa niya ako sa braso, kaya naisipan ko na pong tumalon kasi kung ano-ano na lang ang tinatapon niya sa akin, pati dito tinapunan niya ako ng sandok kaya tumalong na lang ako sa second floor, no choice na ako,” she said.

The native of Carmen, Davao is separated from her husband. They also have five children.

Pontillas, 33, arrived in Kuwait in February 2, 2011 to work as a household service worker.

Her first employer was kind, she said. However, she left her employer of almost one year when the latter did not allow her to make a cash advance supposedly for her mother’s hospitalization in Davao.

She was brought back to her agency and sent to a second employer where she endured abuse.

Pontillas said the couple would always fight and her lady employer vented her anger towards her.

“Tumatawag sa akin iyong embassy at saka yung OWWA, kung may tsansa ka lang tumakas o may pagkakataon ka, tumakas ka na lang at least naka-report ka na. Sabi nila nang ganun. Kahit sa Police nga, sa 112 sa emergency call, kailangan kong tulong nila. Hindi pa rin sila dumating, dahil ang sinabi nila ma-trespassing, di ang ginawa ko, no choice na, alangan naman hintayin kong mamatay, no choice na, tumalon na lang ako,” she said.

The OFW saw the chance to escape last July 16. Luckily, a taxi passed by and immediately brought her to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA).

“Sana mapagaling niya ako at mabayaran niya ang ginawa niya sa akin. Sa sobrang pinsala na ginawa nya sa katawan ko,” said Pontillas.

Pontillas recuperated for two weeks at the Al-Razi Orthopedic Hospital. She is also ready for discharge but fears that she will be sent back to her employers or be picked up by police.

“Ang nais ko po ipanawagan, naka discharge na po ako kahapon pa lang, nais ko sana na kunin ako ng embahada dito para makauwi po ako nang maayos sa amin. Sana naman makuha nila ang gamit ko sa amo ko at saka yung passport, papeles ko para makauwi po ako sa Pinas,” the OFW said.

ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau brought Pontillas flight to the embassy.

“Noong matanggap ko iyong text mo na itong sI Margie Oquias Pontillas ay ready for discharge, kaagad-agad ko inistruct-kan si Mar Hassan, iyong ATN (Assistance To Nationals) Action Officer na may hawak sa kaso at kasaluluyan nandon pa rin siya, ina-arrange niya kung ano iyong mga pangangailangan na dapat gawin ng embahada para masigurado na siya’y makalabas ng ospital na ligtas sa anumang kapahamakan,” said ATN head Dalidig Ibrahim Tanandato. Report from Maxxy Santiago, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau