By Roy Mabasa
A Filipina overseas worker, who was reportedly tied to a tree by her employer said to belong to the Saudi Arabia royal family, is now back in the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.
The DFA identified the OFW as Lovely Acosta Baruelo who arrived Thursday night from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In a statement, the DFA admitted that Baruelo’s case was only referred to the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh on the same day she was repatriated.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reports that OFW Lovely Acosta Baruelo from Saudi Arabia arrived in Manila at 8:55 p.m. on 9 May 2019. The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reported that the case of OFW Baruelo was referred to them on 9 May, and she was repatriated on the same day. OFW Baruelo was allegedly punished by her employer by being tied to a tree,” the DFA said.
On Thursday, netizen Kristina Cabrera Sononir posted on her Facebook account images purportedly of Baruelo while tied to a tree, as she also asked Philippine authorities for help.
“Taga bauang la union po xa (siya) at nagtratrabaho bilang dh (domestic helper) sa Riyadh Saudi Arabia…kapatid po xa ng bathcmate naming…kilalang kilala ko (sic) xa… Sana kahit sa pamamagitan ng pagshare po neto ay makarating sa kinauukulan!!! We pray for your safety ading sana makauwi ka ng safe…magpakatatag ka!!!” Sononir said in her post which was shared by almost 90,000 netizens.
One netizen who appeared to be Baruelo’s co-worker, commented on Sononir’s post, saying their employer reportedly got mad when Baruelo allegedly exposed a piece of household furniture under the sun. The employer is reportedly a member of the Saudi’s royal family.
The same netizen claimed that their employer would reportedly hurt them whenever they commit even small mistakes.
As of press time, the foreign affairs office has yet to reply to several media queries on the circumstances surrounding Baruelo’s case.