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Consul General Atty Raul H Dado listens to the maid’s ordeal. The victim shows signs of beating on her body
Employer accuses Filipina maid of sorcery, beats her up Consul General Dado vows to pursue case

KUWAIT CITY, May 29: A Filipina Household Service Worker (HSW) was allegedly beaten up by her male employer after finding a dried caul or an amniotic sac inside her bag and accused her of being a witch or sorcerer.

Monica, not her real name, 35, who hails from Cagayan Province in the Philippines, told the Arab Times that the amniotic sac was wrapped in red cloth, which she had it dried after giving birth to her child and kept it as her lucky charm for 16 years. The caul is a piece of membrane that can cover a newborn’s head and face.

Birth with a caul is said to be rare and occurs in fewer than 1 in 80,000 births. “I told him there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not a witch or a sorcerer. I pleaded Sir have mercy on me but he didn’t listen. He and his brother tied me up, kicked me on my back and hit me with a woodstick. I just prayed so hard so I can survive the ordeal,” narrated Monica who is married and with two kids. Some Filipinos in the provinces have this superstitious belief that there’s something special about a baby being born “in the caul, “which means the amniotic sac remains intact until the baby is most or all of the way born.

Monica disclosed that she had been carrying her lucky charm even when she worked as a household service worker in Dubai and Qatar but she did not face any problem with her employer. “While my employer and his brother were beating me up, he told me that’s why my kid likes you and no one else because you’re using some black magic. But I told him that’s not true,” she sobbed.

After beating her up, the employer took Monica to the police station for investigation. Per Kuwaiti law, sorcery or witchcraft is considered a crime. “The police asked me if I was doing any black magic. He asked me who I want to cast a spell or put under my spell. I told the police that I’m not a sorcerer. Then he turned me over to another police who asked me the same question and I gave him the same answer,” she stated. Monica was detained in the police station for two days before her employer took her out and sold her to another agency.

The agency gave her a part time job and when she had the chance, she sought the help of SANDIGAN, a Filipino advocacy group that rescued her and turned her over to the embassy. “I just want to go home now and forget this nightmare. I have not done anything wrong and I don’t deserve this,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, Consul General Atty Raul H Dado advised all OFWs who are travelling to Kuwait to leave behind stuff considered as lucky charms or amulets to avoid cultural clash as employers may not understand beliefs like this. “They are surprised or afraid. They think it’s black magic. They’re having paranoia. This can be avoided by not bringing into Kuwait stuff like that. Kuwait’s culture is different with the Philippines but this does not give any employer or anyone the reason to hurt someone. This is not right. As usual, we have our legal team to review the case and file the case against the employer,” outlined Dado.

Maids attempt suicide: An Asian housemaid tried to commit suicide by hanging in her sponsor’s house in Fintas. The sponsor found the housemaid hanging from the ceiling of her room with a rope tied to her neck. He immediately took her down and called the Operations Room at the Ministry of Interior to report the incident. Securitymen and paramedics were dispatched to the location.

The housemaid was taken to Adan Hospital and she is said to be in critical condition. Acase was registered and investigations are ongoing to determine the actual circumstances which had prompted the maid to try to end her life.

In a similar incident, an Ethiopian housemaid is now confined at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Farwaniya Hospital as she tried to commit suicide by hanging in her sponsor’s house in Rabya. Police are waiting for her health condition to improve before questioning her on what triggered the suicide attempt


By: Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

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