Filipino officials in Saudi play Poirot to solve DH’s case

The case of Cristina Juliano Rivera, a 46-year-old domestic helper (DH), had the elements of a mystery that Philippine officials in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia literally played Hercule Poirot to solve it.

Hercule Poirot  is a fictional Belgian detective created by British writer Agatha Christie.

Rivera is finally home, staying in  Pasay, but is planning to go back to Kuwait where she worked before going to Saudi Arabia.

She arrived in the Philippines after much confusion regarding her case.

Angelito AJ Juliano, Rivera’s son, had asked for help for his mother who had finished her two-year contract but was not allowed to leave. But he could provide very little information, only his mother’s name and contact number. 

Angelito, a 27-year-old father of three in Antique, is working as a chef at the Zaatar Lebanese Restaurant in Kuwait City. 

He did not say where exactly in Saudi Arabia his mother was. Retired foreign service officer Rafael E. Seguis, who still helps distressed Filipino overseas migrant workers, did not know if he had to refer the case to the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the Eastern Region (POLO ERO) or the Consulate in Jeddah.

I informed Angelito about the problem and the lack of information and asked him where exactly in the Kingdom his mother was.  He said Riyadh.

I relayed the information to Seguis who forwarded it to the Philippine Embassy. Attaché Saifoden “Ding” Manalao of the Assistance to Nationals Section (ANS) contacted Rivera.

Manalao found out that Rivera was in Baha, 948.7 kilometers away from Riyadh. It is under the jurisdiction of the Consulate.

Consul General Edgar Tomas Q. Auxilian referred the case to Labor Attaché Roel B. Martin, a lawyer from Angadanan, Isabela. Martin mobilized his staff who got in touch with Rivera, finding it as difficult as the case of Mary Grace Battung in Najran.

Battung could not be contacted after she was rescued with police assistance because she had no access to wifi.

The POLO Jeddah staff  said Rivera’s  employer was not taking their calls so they thought they had the wrong number. They asked for Rivera’s passport supposedly to trace the employer.

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