Filipina Helper Only 4 Months In Saudi Arabia Dies of Poisoning

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A Filipina domestic helper in Saudi Arabia has died of poisoning as Philippine officials in the Arab state are looking into allegations that she was maltreated by her employer, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Sunday.

Emerita Gannaban, 44, was deployed to Saudi Arabia only in June. She died at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Hospital in Riyadh on October 29.

“The Department assures the family of Gannaban that it would take a closer look into her death as well as allegations that she had been maltreated,” a DFA statement said.

Philippine Embassy officials in Riyadh are in touch with Gannaban’s family as well as with her employer and recruiters in Manila and in Riyadh in connection with arrangements for the repatriation of her remains as soon as police authorities conclude their investigation into her death.

“The embassy is waiting for the results of the autopsy conducted on Gannaban,” the DFA said.

Saudi Arabia is the top destination of job-seeking Filipinos in the Middle East, with a least 1 million workers mostly employed in the household service and construction sectors.

There have been numerous reports in the past of abuses being committed against Filipino workers in the Arab state.

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