Appeals for truth in Filipinas drainage death - Doubts on suicide

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 3: “I’m appealing to the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait to help us find the truth on the real cause of death of my daughter Ailyn. We hope and pray for a speedy investigation so her remains can be repatriated to the Philippines soon,” appealed on Monday Molina Hidalgo, the mother of the Filipina Household Service Worker (HSW) who was found dead on Nov 27 floating inside the square drainage system under the stairs of the basement of her employer’s house in Yarmouk. Authorities identified the victim as Ailyn Tagarda Hidalgo, 30, a single mom and native of Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay in the Philippines.

 According to security sources, securitymen and paramedics rushed to the location with the officers from the Department of Criminal Evidence after the Operations Room of the Ministry of Interior received a report about an Asian lady who was found dead inside the house compound of her sponsor.  Authorities pulled the body out of the square drainage and lifted fingerprints from the site. One of the paramedics disclosed that there was a CCTV camera in the basement.

 Security sources reported that the face of the victim was bloated and traces of blood were found on her nose. A case of suicide and suspected murder was registered due to the presence of blood at the site though there were no signs of violence on the corpse. Her body was referred to the Forensic Department for autopsy and the Capital Public Investigation Department has launched an intensive investigation to determine the real cause of her death.

 Speaking to the Arab Times on the phone, Molina, 53, is in Zamboanga City on Monday to personally follow up the case of her daughter at the regional office of the Department of Foreign Affairs after learning about her daughter’s death on November 30 at around 3 am in the Philippines when her niece who is working in Oman called her up. She said that some of their relatives learned about Ailyn’s death on the social networking site Facebook.

 “We don’t believe that she committed suicide because she went to work in Kuwait for her eight-year old daughter and her family.  She’s working hard to help us make both ends meet and everyone in the family cannot believe that she took her own life,” pointed out Molina. Ailyn is the eldest in the brood of six and the family’s breadwinner. She is also supporting the medication of her father who has been jobless due to an illness.

 She recounted that Ailyn even sent money to them and called her up on November 26, a day before her body was found. “She called me up and we talked for about 2 minutes. She just asked how’s everyone and how’s her father. Then I  heard her crying and she said that I love you all. Then the line was cut. After that I received a text message from her telling us that whatever happens, we just have to pray for her,” she recalled. When asked if Ailyn confided any problem to her, Molina said that she did not mention any problem to them.

 Molina disclosed that her daughter has been working for her current employer for almost five years. She first left the Philippines to work in Kuwait on November 13, 2005 and after finishing her two-year contract, she went home to the Philippines then came back again to work in Kuwait on May 16, 2008. “She came home in 2010 for a vacation and went back to Kuwait to the same employer. She should have been working for five years now with the same employer this coming July. We really don’t know what happened. Ailyn’s daughter has been crying after learning about her mom’s death. I don’t know how she can go to school now,” lamented Molina.

 The Arab Times tried to get an update on the case from the Philippine Embassy and an e-mail was sent by Philippine Vice Consul Rea Oreta that stated:” The ATNU (Assistance to Nationals Unit) has reported updates to OUMWA (Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs) on Thursday and has requested assistance to inform NOKS (Next-of-kin). A press release on the case shall be coursed thru DFA once we are in the position to do so.”

 The case of Ailyn’s death has gone viral on various social networking sites as Filipino netizens not only in Kuwait but also across the globe called for a transparent, fair and speedy investigation on her case.

By: Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

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