OFW killed in accident was victim of illegal recruitment; Kin ask for prosecution of agency, gov’t support

An overseas Filipino worker who died in a vehicular accident in Saudi Arabia on November 1 was a victim of illegal recruitment and overcharging, according to global alliance of OFWs Migrante International.

Jose Bautista, a truck driver, died on the spot after he figured in a road accident while driving along Tabuk-Doba highway. He has been working in Saudi for two years and two months.

He was deployed to Saudi by PERT-CPM, a recruitment agency recently suspended by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) after almost 100 bus and truck drivers of the Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) complained of overcharging, loans with onerous rates, collection of fees without issuance of receipts, misrepresentation and collusion of the agency with lending agencies.

As of present, there are still no updates against the OFWs’ complaints.

Bautista’s remains are still at the Tabuk morgue while his family awaits his repatriation.

According to Gina Esguerra, Secretary-General of Migrante International, “Napakasaklap ng sinapit ng ating kababayan, lalo pa’t bago siya mamatay ay wala pa ring hustisya sa kanilang kahilingan. At ngayon hanggang sa kanyang kamatayan, mabagal pa rin ang pag-usad ng serbisyo mula sa ating gobyerno.”

Esguerra called on the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to facilitate the immediate repatriation of Bautista’s remains and to give his family his insurance claims and after-death benefits.

As for the driver’s complaints against PERT-CPM and the lending agencies involved in overcharging, she said, “Kailan ba magagawan ng kaukulang aksyon ito? Kailangan pa bang mamatay muna ng ating mga OFW bago harapin ang kanilang kaso?” ###