JEDDAH – The Filipina household service worker, who posted on Facebook a photo of herself covered in bruises, has been rescued.
Jocelyn Lucena is now under the custody of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah.
“Malaking pasasalamat ko talaga sa Facebook, saka ang bilis-bilis din agad ng pagka-rescue [ng Philippine Consulate] sa akin. Napakabilis talaga,” said Lucena.
Lucena took to the social networking site after her employer’s son maltreated her over what she described as a very simple mistake.
“Very simple lang po ang kasalanan ko sa kanila. Nanghimasok po akong bigyan ng SIM card ang kasamahan ko sa itaas para hindi siya hiram ng hiram ng celphone ko,” said Lucena.
The photo she uploaded on Facebook became viral, prompting netizens to bring her case to various channels for help.
She said her employer’s son thought that the man whom she bought the SIM card from was her boyfriend.
“Ang mismong alam kong ikinagalit niya, lalaki kasi yung pinagbilhan ko, yung nag-aalaga ng tupa. Nagsuspetsa siguro na boyfriend ko siya, ganun. Iyon ang alam kong ikinagalit talaga niya ng husto,” she said.
She added, “Alam niyo yung Saudi na may panyo na may nakapatong sa ulo? Inunat niya po iyon saka niya ihinampas ng ihinampas sa akin, sa buong katawan ko,” she said.
This was not the first time that Lucena has been maltreated. But she said the latest was the worst.
The OFW had served that household for one year and three months. The mother of six said she left her hometown in Pangasinan for Saudi Arabia to seek better opportunities for her family.
“Gusto kong mapag aral anak ko at ayaw kong mangutang sa pahunan. Nagtitinda ako dati ng tinapa,” she said.
Vice Consul Alexander Estomo of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah said they were just in the area when they received the information that a Filipina was maltreated by her employer.
“Nakatulong din ng malaki na malapit na kami doon sa area. We were in Najran where we are conducting assessment doon on a different issue, within 3 hours, nakapunta kami agad sa Khamis Mushayt proper,” said Estomo.
He assured that Lucena will get justice.
“Definitely, ang sabi sa akin ng police chief doon na mananagot pa rin siya sa public rights aspect. After the investigation, most likely he will also see some jail time,” said Estomo.
The consulate is now preparing Lucena’s immediate return to the Philippines.
“Kumpleto na ang kanyang mga documents. Meron na rin siyang exit visa, meron na rin siyang passport. Kino-coordinate na lang ng POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) yung kanyang plane ticket,” he said. Report from Charles Tabbu, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau