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Family Doubts Illness Caused Death of Filipina Helper in Saudi Arabia

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The family of a Filipina who died of an illness in Saudi Arabia expressed doubts after bruises were found in the body.

The remains of Ana Fe Velasco Bania arrived in the Philippines Nov 2 from Saudi Arabia. She passed away Sep 29.

Bania left the Philippines last year to work in Riyadh. Her employment contract was supposed to end in December and she reportedly wanted to return home.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

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The death certificate of Bania, 38, indicated that she succumbed to stroke or acute cerebrovascular accident that caused her death.

However, her family wasn’t convinced that it was the cause of her death.

On Oct 4, Bania’s husband Ferdinand received a video message from her friend that she was seeking help as she was unwell and maltreated by her employer.

“Naawa po ako sa kaniya. Iniisip ko bakit ngayon lang kung kailan patay na siya saka lang lumabas yung video,” said Ferdinand.

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Francia Velasco, Bania’s mother, suspects that she was possibly on a receiving end of physical abuse after she saw bruises on the remains of her daughter at the funeral.

“Naawa po ako sa kanya… May mga pasa sa tagiliran, dito sa tuhod,” Velasco said.

Velasco recounted that her daughter’s original employer was a kind person, but on Sep 23, they learned that a friend wanted Bania to work for them for three days. Six days after her part-time gig with her employer’s friend, Bania failed to return. Her sponsor looked for Bania only to find her lifeless in the hospital.

The family is hoping that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will conduct an investigation regarding the matter.

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“Kung talagang mapatunayan po na minaltrato siya dun, mabigyan po ng katarungan ang pagkamatay niya. Sana po maparusahan ang gumawa,” said Ferdinand.

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