Bantay OCW (Ang Boses ng OFW)

OFW kidnapped 9 years ago still missing


It was in 2004 when Jelyn arrived in Dubai to work as a hotel staffer. Then 22, Jelyn was full of hope. She looked forward to giving her family a better life.

But her dreams turned into a nightmare. On her very first day in Dubai, she was kidnapped by a fellow Filipino.

According to some members of her family in the Philippines, they  received a call from Jelyn shortly after she disappeared. She shared that a fellow Filipino kidnapped her during a welcome party for her.  The kababayan befriended her and offered her a drink. After that, she didn’t know what happened next. She woke up half-naked and discovered that she had been raped by the man and she was locked in his house. Then the phone line went dead.

The family waited for her to call again. They had no idea how to reach her. It was not clear who had met her at the airport and where the ill-fated “welcome party” was held.

It would be seven months before she called again. She was crying so hard that time, and informed her family that she was pregnant and the man kept her locked in his house as his wife. He never allowed her out. She said he promised her marriage once they return to the country. She was still talking when her relatives on the other end of the line heard a commotion. They presumed the man discovered her on the phone and yanked it away. The line was abruptly cut again.

Since then, nine years ago, the family has not heard from Jelyn.

The Bureau of Immigration has no arrival record to show she has returned to the country. The family made an appeal to Bantay OCW to help them locate her, to find out her whereabouts, dead or alive, for them to seek justice.

Bantay OCW was surprised why the family informed the foundation only now.

They said they kept hoping that one day she would call and ask them to fetch her at the airport with her child.  They also reported the incident to the recruitment agency that deployed Jelyn, but until now, they still get the same answer: “No news yet.”

When we interviewed Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, via a long distance call over Radyo Inquirer while she was in Abu Dhabi on her way to Dubai, Bantay OCW took the opportunity to inform her about the case. Details were also sent to her via e-mail.

The family is requesting intervention from the Philippine Consulate to file a report with the Dubai police so a search for Jelyn can begin.

Although it has been nine years, Bantay OCW still hopes something can be done and that Jelyn is still alive.  The agency that recruited and deployed Jelyn has a lot to answer for. Was Jelyn recruited by a front for a slavery ring?

For our bagong-salta (first-timer) overseas Filipino workers (OFW), be careful. We have received other reports of fellow Filipinos who victimize some of our OFWs during such occasions—the so-called “welcome party.”

Always deal with reputable recruitment agencies. Be alert. Bear in mind that you’re a potential target because of your being alone in a new place. Unfortunately, you cannot trust all kababayans—here or abroad.

Leave photocopies of your important documents with your family, like a copy of your passport and the employment contract. This would make it easier for authorities to investigate, find  and hopefully rescue an OFW in trouble. A complaint must be filed immediately.

If you feel you’re in danger, don’t hesitate to report your situation to the Philippine embassy or consulate in your area. You have to leave tracks so people can find you.


Susan Andes, aka Susan K. is on board at Radyo Inquirer 990 dzIQ AM, Monday to Friday 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon & 12:30-2:00 p.m. with audio/video live streaming: Studio: 2/F MRP Bldg., Mola St., cor. Pasong Tirad St., Makati City. Helpline: 0927-6499870 / 0920-9684700.  E-mail: /

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  • Pio Gante

    di naman kasi kayo nag-punta doon para mag-party.

    • nick

      welcome party nga e. wala ba nag wewelcome sayo pag nangingibambansa ka?

      • Pio Gante

        walang problema kung makipag-socialize sa mga kabayan pero may kaakibat na risk, kung totoo ang report obviously someone took advantage of her being a newbie at the area at sa mga party din kasi nag-uumpisa ang mga bawal na relasyon bunsod na rin ng kalungkutan na dala ng pagta-trabaho sa ibayong dagat.

        alam mo ba kung ano ibig sabihin ng pangalan mo in arabic?

  • pepito gwaps

    I went to Dubai last time. I found Dubai as open city but they are still following their “Koran” as their basis of legislation. Any man and woman walking and talking together are under scrutiny of the Muslim Police roaming around. Actually, the law enforcer would ask them to show their marriage contract and if they fail to show the said document so they will be arrested and put under investigation for possible committing a crime of adultery. They will know if they are guilty even they disagree because the police are using DNA testing to know if they had sexual intercourse in the past. And according to this column, Jely gave birth to a child and for that I’m very sure that there is no need for DNA testing at all and Dubai gov’t would arrest them for being in that unwelcome situation and of course Dubai authority knows her whereabouts.

    Her story of being locked up maybe true but once they were discovered by any local for sure they would be reported to the police and they would be apprehended no matter what their reasons are ..for being together outside marriage is already an offense in Shariah law. It is common there that a woman giving birth and buying medicine needs a doctor supervision and prescriptions so from there she could be discovered by Islamist law enforcer already.

    I, therefore conclude that Jelyn might be languishing inside the Dubai jail or being restricted to a house where she and the child cannot go out anymore to hide the crime made by that man alone or both of them together… Every person in Dubai has ID and proper document to stay and even the prisoner has given the right to call their relatives and for her not to call her family is very disturbing and something fishy is going on…

    Whether Jely is inside the Dubai jail or not, I firmly suggest to Phil embassy at Dubai to ask the Dubai authority to give you the full time access to the Filipino prisoners and hand them over with some cash and ensure all of them have the time to call their relatives in the Phil. My friend has told me there are a lot of Pinoy’s out there waiting for friends to visit them for any assistance.

    • nick

      there’s nothing in the article that says the girl gave birth. ang pagkakabasa ko.. 7 mos preggy nung huli nila nakausap.

      • pepito gwaps

        They said they kept hoping that one day she would call and ask them to fetch her at the airport with her child.

  • Mark

    2004? Eh 2013 na ngaun! Sounds fishy here.

  • Bino Rocha

    Parang ang labo naman…the family did not report this to the Philippine Embassy the moment they received the 1st phone call? and now after 9 years they are requesting intervention from the Philippine Consulate to file a report with the Dubai police? hindi nila inalam sa agency kung sino sponsor niya sa UAE?

    • nick

      karamihan ng pamilya na nag aabroad ay.. sad to say, di masyado matalino…

  • hagakhak

    pambihira tong news na ‘to. sandali lang sana yan ma-trace kung mismo ang ambassador natin nakipag-ugnayan sa national telecom ng u.a.e. kung anong petsa at oras tumawag yong nawawala nilang kamag-anak. lahat kasi ng mga simcard at phone numbers sa u.a.e. ay rehistrado ang mga pangalan at nagmamay-ari nito. pati yong conversation sa phone recorded din yon. kaya madaling ma-trace.

    • nick

      pano kung walang nag reklamo before?

  • opinyonlangpo

    Another proof how negligent these arrogant embassy people are, there are also POEA offices there. If only one, just one embassy staff focused on this with the help of the local police then this problem could have been solved. Anyway they are good in collecting fees, they should be commended for that.

    • nick

      embassy people cannot act on their own. there should be a complaint filed before them. how else can they know about the incident?

      • opinyonlangpo

        Obviously. Filipinos eat Filipinos in Dubai and other emirates. Some were caught and some goes away with the crime. The embassy can still trace the criminals if they are aware of it. The ownership of the phone number can be traced if they want to. Anyway, the embassy people are too slow and negligent.

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