Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Battered OFW in Lebanon cries for help
By Armand M. Galang

Mar 16, 2017

GAPAN CITY - A 21-year-old overseas Filipina worker who left the country undocumented via ship off Cavite late last year has sought help, suppressing fear for her life, as alleged recruiters demand payment of the $6,000 dollars supposedly spent for her travel.

Ruth Simbulan of Sitio Ilang-Ilang, Barangay San Roque this city said in a video message that she is now held, along with three others, inside an office branch of a certain Saliba Antelias recruitment agency based in Antelias, Lebanon.

“Sana po tulungan niyo po ako dito, sinasaktan po ako ng agency,” Simbulan cried as she identified a certain Joseph Saliba who allegedly owns it. “Sana po tulungan po ninyo ako makauwi. Hindi ko na po kaya rito,” she said.

Her message was sent to Ruby Rose Policarpio, daughter of a former chief of their village and distant relative, through a private message on Facebook on March 4. In her message, Simbulan asked Policarpio to tell her father about her misfortune.

The agency, she said, threatens to send her to Dubai where she might be jailed should she fail to pay. But she fears of her life. “Tulungan niyo po ako tinatakot ako. Lugar daw nila ito kaya daw puwede ako patayin dto,” she told Policarpio.

Policarpio then asked her to send a video message. In the video, she identified her recruiters as Amy Arizala and Madam Nora Mohamad, both of Cavite.

Simbulan said she was able to send such messages from a mobile phone she borrowed from someone in the office.

Simbulan, whose husband and a 1-year-old son stay in Barangay Bakero, Cabanatuan City, informed her father Rodolfo Simbulan of her departure for Lebanon when she was already on board the ship on Oct. 5, 2016.

He heard no information on her whereabouts until Policarpio relayed her ordeal. Rodolfo is a farm worker.

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