Family of detained Filipino in Myanmar appeals for help


Posted at Jan 30 2023 05:05 PM

MANILA — A family is seeking help from the Philippine government after a Filipina tourist was reportedly detained in Myanmar.

According to her family, Kiela Samson was touring Thailand since December last year. But they were surprised to get a call from Kiela on Jan. 17 that she had been arrested and detained in Myawaddy in southeastern Myanmar, a township bordering Mae Sot in Thailand.

"Noong magpaalam po siya sa sa akin na mamasyal po sila ng kaibigan niya. Parang gift niya sa sarili niya," Kiela's mother Eunice told ANC's "Rundown".

(She told me she wold go on a trip with a friend. It's like a gift for herself.) 

"Ang sabi niya po samin, naglilibot sila ng Thailand that time tapos nakarating sila sa Mae Sot. May pinuntahan silang pasyalan. May nag-alok sa kanila ng bangka," Kiela's sister Elaine said.

"Pagtawid daw po ng ilog, may pasyalan po dun kaya pumunta silang magkaibigan po dun," she added.

(She told us they would tour Thailand, then they reached Mae Sot. They went to tourist site. Someone offered them a boat ride.) 

Kiela's last video call was on Jan. 19 inside the police station.

The Samson family was told there were also other Filipino detainees there. It was not clear why Kiela and her friend were arrested.

The Samsons have sought the help of Philippine Embassy in Yangon but were told Philippine diplomats were allegedly prevented by local authorities from entering the town due to insurgency in the area.

"Nanawagan po ako sa ating gobyerno na sana po bigyan nila ng pansin 'yung pagka-detain ng anak ko," Eunice said. 

"Sa DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), sa embassy natin sa Myanmar, sana po gumawa naman po sila [ng paraan]," she added.

(I am appealing to our government to give attention to my daughter's detention. To the DFA, our embassy in Myanmar, I hope they could find a way.)

The DFA has yet to reply to ABS-CBN News' request for comment, as of this posting. 

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