KUWAIT – A Filipina household service worker learned the painful way that it’s never safe to place your life on the hands of someone you just met over the phone.
“Salma”, not her real name, broke down in tears, as she shared her ordeal at the hands of her employer and pimp who destroyed her dreams.
“Lumalaban ako pero wala akong magawa kasi babae ako,” said Salma.
The 29-year-old Cotabato City native arrived in Kuwait on February 15, 2011. Her first employment only lasted for eight months after the brother of her lady-employer tried to rape her. Salma said she was treated like a slave during her second employment. She only stayed there for 10 months.
“Syempre sa akin po ang lahat ng trabaho, hindi na ako makalakad noon..magigising ng alas sais, tapos matulog ng alas dose o ala una,” she said.
The unbearable condition forced her to escape on July 27. She was fetched by an Indian national phone pal whom she thought would help her find a better work.
However, her supposed friend sold her to a Bangladeshi pimp for 200 Kuwaiti Dinars (P29,600). The pimp brought her to a casa located in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh where she was used by men of different nationalities.
“Umiyak ako di ko alam ang gagawin ko, pinilit niya ako, ginalawa nya ako. Di ako makalaban kasi marami sila,sarado ang kuwarto. Sabi ng mga nandon pag sino nagbukas ng bintana, pupugutan ng leeg,” she said.
Three other Filipino women, Indonesians and other foreign women were also there in the casa with her.
“Pag ginagamit nila ako yung nasa isip ko, kelan ako makakatakas, kung kelan ako makakalabas sa kamay ng mga iyon,” she said.
On August 10, Salma escaped while her pimp and his colleagues were fast asleep. Salma jumped from the window on the first floor and immediately boarded a taxi and asked to be brought to the Philippine Embassy.
“Gusto ko lang mahuli yung mga lalaking umano sa akin kasi gusto kong mabigyan ng hustisya at maging warning na rin sa mga katulong,” said Salma.
The embassy promised to assist Salma in her quest for justice.
“Pupunta kami doon sa opisina ni General Adeeb Al-Suwaidan, yun ang head ng rescue operations dito sa pulisya ng Kuwait, at doon hihingi kami ng suporta at tulong para ma-rescue yung isa pang kasamahan nito at saka para magawan ng kaukulang kaso iyong ang mga taong nasa likod ng gawaing ito,” said Dalidig Ibrahim Tanandato, head of the Assistance to Nationals Unit of the embassy.