Filipina scalded by employer waited three hours before getting help in Riyadh
MANILA, Philippine—An overseas Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia was in tears as she recounted how for three hours she suffered in excruciating pain after her employer scalded her with boiling water.
Pahima “Candies” Alagasi Palacasi in a radio interview on Saturday said she was even more bothered that her mother’s blood pressure might shoot up hearing the news about her in the oil-rich Islamic kingdom.
“”Yong nanay ko po, nag-aalala ako sa kanila kasi may high-blood siya (I’m worried about my mother who has high-blood pressure),” a crying Palacasi said in a phone interview.
Palacasi first received attention when her cousin posted photos of her burnt skin on Facebook, triggering an uproar among netizens who called for justice.
The migrant worker, who was working as a domestic helper in Riyadh, said she dropped the cap of the water heater when she was making coffee for her employer.
That was when her irritated female employer doused her with boiling water, Palacasi said.
“Hindi ko po siya nakita sa likod ko. Kinuha niya po ‘yong tubig na mainit, tapos bigla po niya binuhos sa akin (I didn’t see her from behind. She threw the boiling water on me),” Palacasi said.
After scalding her, the employer just went to her room leaving Palacasi in pain, the househelp from North Cotabato said.
“Lumabas po siya sa kusina, pumasok sa kwarto niya at pinabayaan lang po ako (She went outside the kitchen then went to her room, leaving me),” she said.
Her cries for help went unnoticed, Palacasi said.
“N’ung hindi ko na kinaya ‘yung sakit at init sa katawan, natumba po ako. Tapos humihingi po ako ng tulong sa kanya, hindi po niya ako natulungan (I fell down when I could no longer bear the pain in my body. I asked help from her but she did not offer any help),” she said.
In fact, Palacasi said she had to wait for three hours in her room crying before she was taken to the hospital by her employers.
“Pumunta po ako sa kwarto ko, umiyak na lang po ako ‘dun kasi wala nga po nakakatulong sa akin. Mga three hours pa bago ako dinala sa clinic (I went to my room and cried because nobody would help me. I was brought to the clinic after three hours),” she said.
Even Palacasi could not fathom how she endured the pain that long.
“Hindi ko nga alam bakit ko nakayanan ang ganoong kasakit na tatlong oras bago ako dinala ng clinic (I also don’t know how I endured that pain for three hours before being brought to the clinic),” Palacasi said.
She sustained second-degree burns and was brought to a small clinic where a Filipina nurse treated her. It was the Filipina nurse who contacted Palacasi’s sister.
This was not the first time Palacasi was maltreated by her employers.
She said she was constantly being beaten up by her employer, supposedly because she could not focus on her work for being homesick.
“Kasi nga po nahohomesick ako tapos gusto ko po tumawag sa pamilya ko. Ayaw po nila (I feel homesick and when I want to call my family they wouldn’t allow me to,” she said.
Palacasi now fears never being able to go back home to the Philippines.
“Gustong gusto ko na po umuwi… Kinakatakot ko po na hindi na po ako makakauwi (I really want to go home… I’m afraid that I might not be able to do that anymore),” she said.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office has suspended the agency that recruited Palacasi.
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