Probe of OFW death in Bahrain sought

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MANILA, Philippines—A migrant workers’ group has called on the government to look into the mysterious death of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) temporarily staying in a shelter managed by the Philippine Embassy in Bahrain.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante Middle East regional coordinator, said that 31-year-old Kathleen Ann Viray Ilagan from Davao was found dead on April 10 inside the Philippine Embassy shelter.

In a statement, Monterona said he received an e-mail from a former staffer at the Center for Overseas Workers, a Davao-based nongovernment organization providing assistance to OFWs and their families, seeking assistance on behalf of the family of Ilagan to look into her death.

Ilagan reportedly left the country in July 2012 to work as a pastry chef for a Bahrain company.

According to her family, her deployment documents showed that she was recruited by HRD Employment Consultant and Multi Services Inc., a Manila-based agency, Monterona said.

Quoting her relatives, Monterona said Ilagan left her job earlier this month and went to the Philippine Embassy to seek repatriation. She was allowed to stay at the embassy’s shelter while waiting her departure.

Monterona said that the report received by her family said Ilagan apparently committed suicide.

“But the family cannot believe it since she had no serious problems that would drive her to take her own life,” Monterona said in a statement.

“All she wanted was to go home,” Monterona said.

He said the death “should not easily be declared a suicide without conducting a thorough investigation.”—Tina G. Santos

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