Wrong News Photo Prompts News Site to Apologize to HK Filipina Helper

After her photo was used to accompany a post about an allegedly bigamous overseas Filipino worker, a Filipina domestic worker in Hong Kong forced the news website to issue a public apology, according to The SUN.

Single mother of two Juliet Lindo, 34, demanded a public apology Oct 31 from Manila-based Trending News Portal, to clear her name and restore her damaged reputation as a result of misuse of her photo.

The controversy started when TNP posted a rehashed news about a Filipina maid in Hong Kong who pleaded guilty to a charge of “false notice for the purpose of procuring a marriage” to a local man 22 years ago. The woman claimed she was a widow, but it turned out that her first husband was still alive.

TNP’s story which used Lindo’s photo — blurring out her face — had gone viral. She then claimed to have received more than 500 private messages apparently from those who read TNP’s story mostly bashing her.

Lindo did not learn about the news until her goddaughter in Dubai sent her a private message in Oct 31 with a screenshot of the article and sought its accuracy.

The Filipina maid separated from her husband 10 years ago and became the sole provider for her son, 15, and daughter, 14. For raising up her two children on her own, Lindo said she was designated as an ambassador by Helper’s Choice, a non-governmental organization promoting the welfare of domestic workers.

However, the TNP’s story with her photo associated to it embarrassed her relatives, who thought she got into trouble and brought shame to her family. Lindo said she was thankful her two children are smart not to believe the story, and kept telling her to be strong.

Within hours of receiving Lindo’s complaint, TNP replied that the link to the damaging article have since been deleted. But by then, the story had already been shared several times, apparently including OFWs in Hong Kong who recognized Lindo from the clothes she wore in the photo, thinking she was the woman referred to in the story.

TNP issued a public apology later that day on its website entitled “Apology for the public”.

“TNP would like to issue its sincere apology to Ms Juliet Lindo, an OFW in Hong Kong whose photo appeared in a preview of this article. We have deleted her blurred photo which we acquired from the Internet. We would like to clarify that she is in no way connected with this case. We do not have any intention to damage her image in any way. We are sincerely apologizing for those who are further affected by the misuse of her photo.”

Lindo, who started working in Hong Kong in 2006, said she was satisfied with the public apology but offered a reminder.

“Sa TNP, sana i-doublecheck nila ang news before going public because it’s not easy to fix the damage it can do to other people,” she said.

“As long as we know ourselves, we won’t be shaken by those malicious souls,” she added.

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