BAGUIO CITY – A relative of Mary Jean Balag-ey Alberto, an Igorot Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who fell to her death from the 13th floor of a building in Abu Dhabi while she was working and that it was impossible that her cousin went to a foreign country just to kill herself instead of working for her family’s future.
Lilian Falyao, Mary Jean’s cousin said that she was only in her third month working in the Middle East country when the tragic incident happened that caused her family to demand for justice for her untimely death.
She said that Mary Jean applied for the job of a driver but when she arrived at Abu Dhabi, she ended up as a domestic helper for a Moroccan family, thus, there was already anomaly and doubt in her work in the foreign land.
According to Falyao, they suspect that Mary Jean was pushed to her death by her Moroccan employer for still unknown reasons. Falyao said that before Mary Jean’s death, she sent text messages to her sister who is also working at the same country telling her that she is being maltreated by her employer and she was not also being paid for the work that she had done for the Moroccan family.
Falyao said that Mary Jean told her sister that she preferred to be jailed by the police to be able to escape from her ordeal under her employers. She said the message was sent 12 hours prior to her death.
“Hanggang October 2, dun siya namatay, nahulog daw siya,” (Until on October 2, she was dead, she fell they said) Falyao said.
Falyao said they are appealing to the concerned agencies, Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi to help in the investigation on the death of their kin. She said that if Mary Jean’s employer truly was the one responsible for her death, he should be punished. They also demand that Mary Jean’s body should be repatriated to the country immediately so that she can be provided with a decent wake and burial.
She said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is still awaiting for the results of the forensic investigation before doing something. She said its very painful for them who are waiting for the repatriation of Mary Jean’s body as they cannot do anything but to wait.
“Walang dahilan para magsuicide ang aming pinsan sa Abu Dhabi, bilang isang ina, ipinikit niya ang kanyang mga mata at pumunta sa abroad para may ipapadalang pera sa nga anak,” (Our cousin has no reason to kill herself at Abu Dhabi, as a mother, she closed her eyes and went to work at abroad so that she will be able to send money to her children.
Mary Jean is a Bontok Kankana-ey of Bontoc, Mountain Province. She left behind three children. She was married (separated) to Rodel Alberto of Antipolo, Rizal Province.
By Dexter A. See