Press Release
September 2, 2016

Koko seeks Senate probe on death of OFW in Saudi Arabia

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today sought a Senate inquiry on the tragic death of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Irma Avila Edloy who was reportedly sexually abused by her employer in Saudi Arabia.

Pimentel filed Senate Resolution No. 114, directing the Senate committees on foreign relations, and labor, employment and human resources to conduct the probe, in aid of legislation, on the death of Edloy.

He said Article X111, Section 3, of the Constitution provides that "the State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, xxx," while Section 13 mandates the State to "protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, xxx".

Pimentel said the tragic death of Edloy "reminds us time and again of the risk to life and limbs faced by our OFWs, especially female OFWs employed as domestic workers."

Edloy, 35, arrived in Saudi Arabia on July 28 this year as a recruit of Rejoice Employment International Corporation for her principal employer, Al Sayyar Recruitment in Ridyadh.

But barely a month after deployment, Edloy was rushed to the King Salman Hospital after sustaining severe injuries believed to be caused by sexual assault.

Medical reports of Edloy revealed that she suffered from lacerations in her private parts, along with multiple bruises on her face and body.

But before the Filipina OFW succumbed to her injuries, Edloy implicated her employer as the suspect in the sexual assault.

Edloy died on August 18, after she had suffered from several cardiac arrests and collapsed into a coma.

"Edloy's death must not simply add to the statistics of OFWs whose lives were lost at the hands of abusive employers," said Pimentel.

He said there is an urgent need to find out if the mandate of the Constitution to provide safe and healthful working conditions for working women is carried out through appropriate policies.

"It is arguably a necessary requisite to provide 'full protection to labor, local and overseas,' especially for female OFWs," said Pimentel.

Filipino overseas workers endure years of loneliness as domestic helpers abroad to support their families back home.

But many have either been sexually abused or forced to work in slave-like conditions, suffering from discrimination, beatings and sexual abuse.

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