Vital organ of dead Cebuana OFW missing - Cebu Circle | Cebu City, Philippines

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vital organ of dead Cebuana OFW missing

06/13/2010 - WHERE’S ’s her heart?
The National Bureau of Investigation reported that the heart of a Cebuana domestic helper, who died in Kuwait, was missing when the NBI conducted an autopsy of her body which arrived in Cebu City on Thursday.

But Dr. Rene Cam, medico-legal of the NBI in Central Visayas, ruled out foul play in the death of 27-year-old Denise Colleen Bolay-og despite the bruises and whip marks found on her legs and body.

Cam said Bolay-og , a resident of barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, died of a heart attack.

Cam said the bruises and alleged whip marks found in the woman’s body were just the effects of the dry ice packed with the cadaver to preserve it during shipment to the Philippines.

"The doctor said dry ice had to be placed to make it frozen. The ridges on her arms came from the equipment there (Kuwait) because they tried to revive her," the victim’s mother, Kristine Ebarle, said.

Also the victim’s long wound on her chin down to her stomach was caused by the autopsy in Kuwait and not by torture.

Cam confirmed that the cause of the victim's death was cardiac arrest and not because of foul play.

Cam said hospital authorities in Kuwait could have taken out the heart of Bolya-og for pathological examination.

But Ebarle said they should have not taken out Bolay-og’s heart because it is against International Law to take out any part of the body without the prior consent of the victim or relatives.

The victim’s family is asking the help of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait to get the results of the examination on Bolay-og’s heart.

The family already sent a letter to Kuwait several weeks ago stating that they would like to have the results of the first autopsy made there (Kuwait) so they could compare them with the autopsy made in the Philippines.

Bolay-og’s body was cremated yesterday after the autopsy.

But Ebarle admitted that she was not contented with the results of the NBI autopsy. She said that if she had enough money she would seek a second opinion.

“I have a friend who also received a dead family member from abroad packed with dry ice. But the body did not have any marks like Denise had,” she said.

Bolay-og’s family had suspected that she was whipped to death by her employer as shown by the bruises and whip marks found on her body. They also doubted that she suffered a heart attack since the victim had no history of heart ailment.

Bolay-og left Cebu on March 20, 2008 to work as a domestic helper for a Lebanese employer in Al Hawally Salmiya, Kuwait.

She left behind her two sons and husband.

Ebarle said that after a month, her daughter complained of the abuses from her employer whom she identified as Allam Anton Marawan.

She reportedly told her mother that her employer would lock her up whenever Marawan would leave the house. Bolay-og was not also paid properly and was not fed well.

But Ebarle said Bolay-og endured all the maltreatment for the sake of her family.

After almost 10 months, Bolay-og could no longer bear the abuse. She confessed to her mother that she was molested by the brother-in-law of her employer, prompting her to run away.

Ebarle said her daughter’s employer called her up and told her about the incident. The employer wanted Ebarle to look for Bolay-og and have her returned to work. But her mother did not know the whereabouts of Bolay-og.

“He was so angry that Denise ran away. He warned that ‘I will see to it that she will not return alive to the Philippines.’ I told him that he should be the one to look for my daughter because he is in Kuwait. What can we do here?” said Ebarle.

She said her daughter’s employer continued to harass her on the phone and even boasted that he has connections at the Philippine Embassy and the Kuwait government.

After a month, Bolay-og finally contacted her mother and told her she was staying in a flat with other Filipino OFWs. She runs errands for them and they pay her for these.

Bolay-og told her mother she wanted to come home but it was difficult. She decided to wait for an amnesty and was scheduled to come home in July.

While waiting for her flight back to the Philippines, Bolay-og continued to work for her Cebuano friends in Kuwait. She would go out on her free day to buy things she could bring back to her family.

Ebarle said that in one of their video chats, her daughter even showed her the balikbayan boxes she was bringing for them.

Ebarle said that she would ask the help of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to blacklist the employer of her daughter. She said the abuse the employer did to her daughter should not be experienced to any Filipino worker. POEA was also the one who advised the family of Bolay-og to have her body autopsied. (Cebu Daily News)

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