Not all Pinay DHs’ complaints should be taken hook, line and sinker

Not all Pinay DHs’ complaints should be taken hook, line and sinker

Our hearts go out to Pinay domestic helpers (DHs) whenever we hear their complaints against their employers. 

But, for the sake of reason and fair play, we should ask questions first.

Is she—or are they—telling the truth?

This stared me in the face on Wednesday night (Aug. 31) though I realized that a Pinay whose surname was quite familiar to me was complaining on behalf of someone else.

Jom Eryl Nobleza Canonoy was complaining on behalf of one Esh Raa (a.k.a. Rhea Mae Paranga) in Kuwait.

I learned to be cautious in a situation like this because of two cases referred to me earlier. The information on the cases turned out to be fake.

The DHs were found to be not telling the truth and they retracted their allegations later.

I thought, “Why doesn’t Esh Raa —or Rhea Mae Paranga —herself complain?”

The case was referred to the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait by retired Foreign Service Officer Rafael E. Seguis, who still helps distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) even though he is now connected with the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Mohammad Ali Macalaba of the Assistance to Nationals (ANS) handled the case.

He got in touch with the representative of Paranga’s agency. 

Unang araw ni OFW Paranga  sa trabaho ay nag-slash ng kamay na parang may problema siya,” he said.

 (On her first day on the job, she slashed her wrist. She seemed to have a problem.)

He also found out that Paranga had a boyfriend with whom she exchanged text messages or talked to while on the job.

As a result, she could not do her job properly.

She also bought gadgets on instalments using her employer’s name. Her employer, Mohammed Rashed Aldori, learned about it so payments were deducted from her monthly salary.

Macalaba asked the agency to monitor Paranga and, if the need arose, she would be pulled out and deported. 

It appears that Paranga deceived Canonoy and took  advantage of the latter’s lack of information about her to get the cooperation of the embassy.

When I forwarded Macalaba’s report to her, Canonoy asked in a text message, “Na e send mo ito Ky Rhea Mae Paranga, sir? (Did you send this to Rhea Mae Paranga, sir?”)

Hindi pa (Not yet),” I replied. 

Quoting Paranga earlier, Canonoy said the former had been working for her employer for only eight months (out of a two-year contract).

She added that Paranga earlier requested that she be handed over to the agency but the employer refused (obviously because he spent a lot to recruit her).

Canonoy also said Paranga worked from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following day without rest.

She also said her cell phone was taken away and given little food once a day. Her personal belongings were searched, and her suitcase destroyed.

(Rhea Mae Paranga’s photo. It’s from Jom Eryl Nobleza Canonoy)

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