Thursday, April 03, 2008


The final death sentence handed by Kuwait's Supreme Court to domestic worker May Vecina is being lamented by an alliance of organizations composed of overseas Filipinos and their families.

The 25-year-old Filipina domestic helper who hails from North Cotabato was convicted of slitting the throat of seven-year-old Salem al-Otaibi with a kitchen knife in January 2007. She was also found guilty of attempted murder of the boy's 11-year-old brother Abdullah and 18-year-old sister Hajar, who both survived.

Vecina reportedly jumped from the second floor of her employer's home after committing the crime. Supposedly, the ongoing violent verbal abuse she received from her employer's family had caused her to snap. And that moments after she was berated and called names by her employer's wife in front of other people, the deadly attack allegedly occurred.

"Less than five months after Marilou Renario was similarly sentenced to death by the same court, we witness yet another Filipina domestic worker on the brink of death. We emphatize with her family and demand that the Arroyo government truly exhausts all mean to save her life. At the same time, this is another grim wake-up call regarding the very exploitative and vulnerable plight of OFWs, particulary of domestic workers," say Connie Bragas-Regaldo, Migrante International Chairperson.

According to Migrante International, an estimated 73,000 OFWs are in Kuwait, with 60,000 of them working as domestic workers earning less than US$200 monthly. In addition, there are more than 25 OFWs on death row around the world; five OFWs have already been beheaded overseas.

The sister of Marilou Renario, Weng, was present to show her support for the family of May Vecina.

A noise barrage was held by the Manila-based Migrante International at its Quezon City office to denounce the lack of the Arroyo government to provide adequate action in saving the lives of OFWs on death row overseas, like that of May Vecina.

* * *

Related link:

Efforts to save Vecina from death will continue - Palace exec - GMA News


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:21 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's high time for the government to ban the hiring of domestic workers to Middle Eastern countries that still live in the middle ages.

The Phil govt can only beg so much. It is useless to argue with regimes that have two sets of rights for people living in the country - one for the local and one for expatriates :(

April 03, 2008 7:40 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

I don't think the Belgian government would do much to help me if I would kill a seven year old boy with a kitchen knife.

I feel for the plight of the OFW's particularly in Arab countries but this can't be an excuse for murder... especially of children.

April 03, 2008 7:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wala naman sigurong aalis ng Pilipinas kung meron lang sanang kahit kaunting opurtunidad para sa nakararami sa sariling bayan.

Magkaroon man, aawagan pa ng suwapang na mayayaman at mga magnanakaw na nakaupo sa gobyerno.

Dito nga, kahit hirap na hirap na, ayaw pa rin umuwi ng Pinas, bakit? Dahil kahit papaano, meron nakikitang kaginhawahan kahit kaunti.

Gaya ng istorya ng OFW na ito, ang mga Pinoy ay tahimik na mamamayan, pero kapag sobra na ang mga panlalait na natatamo, ang galit ay bigla nalang sasabog, sukdulang pumatay kaysa mamatay..

In the meantime, OFW remittances up 25.4% at $1.1B in February.

April 03, 2008 9:12 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

I totally agree with Sidney in this particular case.

Getting even with one's rapist or abuser is one, killing an innocent child is another.

April 03, 2008 11:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the Philippines should stop intervening for accused/convicted Filipinos in foreign countries. There is the comity of nations that we should uphold, in respect for other nations' laws and customs. Besides, these Philippine government interventions might even spark diplomatic rift with other nations, if such pleas of acquittal or mitigation are not granted.

April 04, 2008 10:18 AM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

I agree with Sidney on the point of murder, and as bw said if pinoys won't go to the Middle east...and work as underpaid, bullied, stepped-on nannies or katulong these things wouldn't happen. I like how bw put it, lol- living in the middle ages, hmm perhaps even the age of slavery... (Excuse to readers who come from the Middle east, just stating an opinion)

These cases of mistreatment leading to murder almost always happens there, what the government needs to do is stop sending pinoys there, sometimes naloloko pa ng mga illegal recruiters...I don't know who ever gave us the idea that the pasture is greener in other parts of the world....when in Pinas you own your own land and will have something to eat no matter what happens, sa ibang bansa, if you don't hit a big paying job or lotto, you pay rent, or mortgage, buy high priced food and live up to the fast-paced lifestyle...really, simple life in Pinas as better, yun nga lang, yung mga politiko pa din ang pumipigil sa kin na umuwi, magulo ang mga buwaya!

April 04, 2008 6:35 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

everytime I read about OFWs being sentenced to death I often imagine the human drama behind it. The legal scenarios are but technicalities that may make or break a justice system of the said country.

Sad to say, there are also Filipino employers just as abusive to their maids, drivers and yayas whatever the economic level. The difference (I presume) of working abroad is the strangeness of the culture and the deep loneliness of not having someone to confide with in one's own language. I also note that Pinoys are also alienated from other Pinoys when in another country for fear of this and that. Kaya it really is a "kapit sa patalim" for most to go and work in certain countries. There are those also who adapt well and find it "crazy" to come back here and work.

May Vecina, Flor Contemplacion etc should not have gotten such a raw deal in life...but there is that enigmatic Universal law called "Karma" and all we can do is pray for their souls to be at peace.

April 05, 2008 9:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Sidney and Rhodora. However, we should also remember that insanity is an exempting circumstance. I don't believe we should bargain for the freedom of our OFWs if they are guilty but I only wish they would be afforded what is due to them under the law ... maybe a psychological test to determine if they were sane when the crime was committed? I know that's not too much to ask considering the psychological and emotional stress that our OFWs have to undergo while adjusting to a new environment (plus sometimes the inhumane conditions they have to work in).

April 05, 2008 9:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is most awful. reminds me of flor contemplacion before. if only we have jobs available locally, sigh...

April 06, 2008 12:08 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Ah, Sidney has said it for me. The Philippine government is so pathetic now when it comes to dealing with foreigners. That's what happens when it panders to populist sentiments and self-interests.

April 13, 2008 4:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you are May what will you do??

July 18, 2008 9:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I would certainly not murder an innocent child.

June 16, 2009 9:05 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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