Kin seek independent probe No whitewash, no cover-up for OFW’s mysterious death in Mongolia

June 1, 2012

After several months of going through painstakingly slow processes and sluggish bureaucracy both in the PH post in Mongolia and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) here, the family of Terril Atienza who died under mysterious circumstances in Mongolia is now expressing their fear of a possible white-wash and connivance between PH and Mongolian authorities to “protect” the possible suspect in her death.

When overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Terril Atienza’s remains were flown back to the country last December 9, her heart was missing. Her whole body was bruised, beaten and burnt. Autopsy conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Medico-Legal Division further revealed that her other internal organs were “sectioned with missing portions”. A rag was extracted from inside her body.

Atienza was trafficked to Singapore to work as a domestic worker on January 2010. Last June 2011, she expressed to her family her desire to come home to the Philippines. Her agency disagreed, said that she had to finish her two-year contract first and flew her to Mongolia after one and a half years of working in Singapore.

In Mongolia, Atienza met uncertainty and agony while working for her employer Sergelen Davaakhu, who she mentioned in correspondences with friends and family is the Consul of Austria in Mongolia and a daughter of a former Mongolian Prime Minister. Her husband was also the former governor of Mongolia.

According to Nyrill Atienza, Tyrril’s 16-year-old daughter, her mother often told her that employer was often drunk and held nightly rowdy parties in their home. She was also forbidden from using her mobile phone and laptop. On November 23, Nyrriel got a call from her mother’s friend and fellow OFW Karen Cruz who was worried because she was supposed to meet with Atienza on November 19 but she never showed up. Cruz said that on the same day, Atienza’s employer called her and said that Atienza would not be able to meet with her because she was not feeling well.

Initial autopsy reports from Mongolia indicated that Atienza died of “severe intoxication from an unknown source”. A conclusive autopsy report from Mongolia is still pending following results from laboratory tests conducted on her body. The family later found out that the cause of delay was because the PH post in Mongolia said that there are “discrepancies” between the Mongolian police and forensic reports. Nyrril said that they had also recently got word that the Philippine post had requested and acquired the NBI autopsy report “to compare the two autopsies”.

“The least they could have done was to inform us of this. If there truly are discrepancies, we have every right to be informed. What are their reasons for ‘comparing’ the two autopsy reports? How can they do this without our knowledge or approval? Are they laying the grounds for a white-wash or cover-up?”

Atienza’s family called on legislators to conduct an independent investigation on Terril’s case. The family, together with Migrante International, will also take her case to the Mongolian embassy and other international migrants’ and human rights organizations.###

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