Family of Murdered Sharjah-Based Domestic Helper Pleads for Justice

The husband of a Filipino domestic helper based in Sharjah, UAE who died last month has called on to authorities for help.

Also Read: UAE Law on Domestic Workers: 12-Hours Daily Rest, 30 Days Leave, Weekly Off

The husband of the deceased OFW Maria Shiegrid Sanchez Santos, Ariel Santos, shared that his wife has told him about the abuse she’s been enduring from her employer.

Family of Slain Filipina Domestic Helper in Sharjah Pleads for Justice

According to Ariel, the abuse has been going on for two years already, ABS CBN News reported.

In an interview at a local radio news program on Wednesday (July 7), Ariel said: “Matagal na pong nagrereklamo, noong wala pa pong pandemic, nagrereklamo po ‘yan. Kinukulong po siya tapos di pinapakin, binubugbog (She’s been telling me about the abuse, even before the pandemic took place. She was locked up, not fed, and beaten up).”

He added that despite the ongoing maltreatment, his wife didn’t have a choice but to simply endure everything.

Family of Murdered Sharjah-Based Domestic Helper Pleads for Justice

“Nagtitiis na lang po. Sabi ko pag lumabas siya kasama ang amo niya tumakas po siya. Pwede naman po siya tumakas, di ko alam kung bakit hindi siya tumakas. Mahigpit daw po masyado ‘yung amo niya (She just endured it all. I told her that when she and her employer goes out, to make a run for it. She could’ve escaped from her employer. I just don’t know why she never did. Her employer was too strict on her),” Ariel said.

Other than the abuse, Shiegrid reportedly was not receiving proper and timely payment for her work under her employer.

The 40-year-old domestic helper ended up as the only casualty one time when she and her employer got into a heated argument.

Her employer is currently detained in the UAE along with three other accomplices to the crime.

Santos’s death was reported to the police on June 24th.

Ariel shared that he received a call from OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) on July 2. They told him that a representative from the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) will contact him soon. When he asked what the reason for the call was, they told him that the DFA personnel will provide him with the details about what happened to his wife. It was then that he felt extremely nervous. When the DFA contacted him, they told him the horrible news – that his wife, indeed, has passed away.

Despite the grim fate that befell Shiegrid, the DFA assured him and their family that they will do everything in their jurisdiction to obtain justice for his wife. They also told him that the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and law enforcement agencies will extend their aid to ensure that the investigation will go as smoothly as possible.

Meanwhile, OWWA chief Hans Leo Cacdac also vowed to extend their help to the Santos family.

In an interview with TeleRadyo, Cacdac explained that the next step will be to iron out the paperwork, the authorization for the DFA to process the repatriation of the human remains, and then where criminal liability is found, Ariel will be duly notified as well as of the ensuing process this entails.

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