Gruesome murder of Filipino maid in Kuwait
The Arab Times online edition reported that police detectives in Kuwait found a body of a dead Filipino maid near a horse stable. Upon further investigation, the police obtained a confession from a Kuwaiti couple who employed the household helper.
The couple confessed that they maltreated the Filipino woman daily. Fearing that she was dying, the couple decided to bring her to an area near the horse stables and crush her body with their car to make it look like she was run over by a motorist.
The news report did not identify the name of the victim or the names of her employers. Nor did it mention whether the Philippine Embassy has been notified about the gruesome crime.
This news item was sent to me by a Filipino journalist based in Dubai who has been a longtime advocate for migrant workers’ rights. We both were at a loss for words to describe the mixture of grief, anger, and shock that bubbled up from within our jaded souls. “Grabe”, my friend Ares wrote. “Grabe”, I wrote back. And yet in the digital ocean that connects both accounts, the pain in producing those five letters was searing and immediate.
Has her family been informed? Does the Philippine Embassy know? Is this admission of guilt enough to convict these Kuwaiti nationals as cold-blooded murderers? What about the victim? How did she end up a slave to such vicious, barbaric people? To be maltreated everyday – to be killed because she might be already dying? To be crushed alive – though perhaps even barely — underneath the vehicle she was hired to wash, among several other possessions of her demonic employers – and all because she was already dying?
I cannot comprehend how evil can be exponential in its filth and foulness. I wonder what she was thinking before the tires broke her bones, and the full weight of the car ironed her being from head to toe? She must have been praying. She must have been crying out weakly, silently, from the depths of her soul. She must have been waiting, knowing that she would soon be gone. Nameless, faceless, and powerless — as all slaves are.
What now? After the anger washes over us like receding flood waters, will she be forgotten? Nameless, faceless, and powerless — even in her own country? And what about her family? Yes, her family who may not even know that a daughter had been killed, or a mother was run over, or a sister is now gone? Who will tell them and when?
In this case, we are worthless as a people if we cannot even demand that justice be done, and justice be served.
In this case, whatever triumph we felt in the demise of the wang-wang mentality would be quickly short lived unless and until the new administration stands up for the slain domestic helper. An investigation has to be conducted on the circumstances that led to her involuntary servitude. Who deployed her? And how did she end up in the hands of the most despicable and insidious employers one could ever find?
I am angry and I am sad, and yet I am hopeful still. This is our time to show that we as a people will not take such a vicious crime committed against one of our very own with feather lightness. This is the time for us to let it be known that Filipinos are not to be treated as slaves because we would never allow it. Not without a fight. Not without exhausting all avenues for justice. This is the time for us to say, “only the best employers can and will employ Filipino workers.” Barbarians need not apply.
I no longer know what actions can be taken within the bounds of the usual protocols. Perhaps, a personal letter from P.Noy addressed to the Emir of Kuwait expressing grief and shock over the incident and calling for the hand of justice to prevail can be coursed through the Kuwaiti ambassador by no less than our Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Perhaps we can send a team of our own investigators to work closely with the Kuwaiti detectives not just in the murder case but also in the trafficking that led to the victim’s tragic demise. According to the police, our compatriot had a stolen ID. I am sure that this fake ID was an imposition of her employers. Yes, the better to be killed with.
I only know that a Filipino woman died, somewhere near a horse stable in Kuwait, her body and spirit crushed underneath a car driven with malevolent intent by her own employers.
How many Filipino women are there beyond our shores – in deserts and harems, in red light districts and gated homes – forced to work beyond what’s right, beyond what’s human, beyond what’s fair, against their will?
Every day, three thousand Filipinos leave the country. Some of them are never heard of again. Some of them never come back. And not always for the best of reasons.
This woman – nameless, faceless for now — never had a choice. We owe it to her memory to keep on fighting the good fight, the fight for a better and brighter future – the fight for the long but permanent turnaround, when people stay and people leave the Philippines as a matter of choice, rooted in freedom and not in chains.
And for those who get to read this entry, and to those who feel strongly enough to want to share it with others — I ask that we pray for the victim’s soul – the bagong bayani without a name, the fallen comrade by the horse stables. Grabe. Grabe talaga.