MANILA, July 6 (Mabuhay) — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday his department would take legal action against the foreign recruiter and employer of a Filipina overseas worker who was sexually abused in Saudi Arabia.
Bello ordered on Monday the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh to coordinate with Saudi authorities for the filing of criminal charges against Meshail Mabrook Al Bassani Al Qahtani, owner of the Home Comfort Recruitment Office/Home Comfort Manpower Services, and employer Abdulaziz Ahlas for the rape and abuse of Michelle (not her real name).
Michelle was allegedly raped by the owner of the foreign recruitment agency and molested by one of her employers before she was repatriated recently.
The Labor chief also directed the POLO to suspend the accreditation of Home Comfort as a foreign recruitment agency.
Bello ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to build an administrative case against local firm SAMA International Recruitment Agency and suspend it to prevent further violation and exploitation of Filipino migrant workers.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), SAMA reportedly ignored Michelle’s complaints and ordeal in Saudi Arabia.
Michelle was extended legal assistance by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) upon her return to the Philippines, the DOLE said.
PAO also conducted forensic tests on Michelle which yielded results indicating sexual abuse and injuries, it said. (MNS)