LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… However, if you do not listen to the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you… Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand…” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 32, the Holy Bible).
FEMALE OFW FROM SULU DIES, REMAINS LEFT TO FREEZE IN IRAQ: The case of Laida Hajan, the 36-year old mother of seven children from Bgy. Kapian, Indanan, Sulu who died in her sleep almost a month ago but whose remains remain un-repatriated and are still languishing in a freezer in a morgue in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, is truly devastating.
Not only because it would seem her children and her husband have no one else to support them now, and not only because her remains could not still be returned to Sulu even after 30 days since she died in her sleep, but more so because the recruitment agency that brought her to Iraq, illegally it would appear now, even refused to report her death to the Philippine embassy in Kurdistan.
The agency was the sole link of Hajan to her country, and, because it earned, according to Iraq Charge d’Affaires Elmer Cato, thousands of dollars from her Iraqi employer, it was responsible for at least notifying Philippine embassy officials of her death. It appears now that the agency was informed by the employer of Hajan’s death right away, but it kept this matter a complete secret.
AGENCY OF OFW DID NOT REPORT HER DEATH: What is more, Cato reported in his Facebook post that Hajan was a victim of human trafficking, since she was made to leave Mindanao illegally, even using someone else’s name, and later was re-routed to Iraq when her supposed overseas job was to be in Dubai or Turkey (see (https://www.facebook.com/elmercato/posts/10153999493932532).
Cato pointed out that, at present, there is even a ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Iraq, in view of ongoing skirmishes in that country. “Like many trafficking victims, the woman in the freezer used an assumed name in applying for a job abroad. Along with several others, she was offered a job in Dubai or Turkey by illegal recruiters in Mindanao. She took a perilous boat ride to Malaysia and eventually ended up in Iraq…” Cato added.
Filipino officials learned about Hajan’s death only when her Iraqi employer notified the embassy about her case. The employer said he was sorry that the remains remained frozen in the morgue.
OFWs SUFFERINGS PREDICTED IN THE BIBLE: How many more of our countrymen who similarly sought employment abroad to escape poverty and want in the Philippines would suffer the same fate as Laida Hajan? I am sure there will be more, given the continuing deprivation of many our countrymen, and given the greed of many Filipinos who treat their compatriots as objects of commerce from whom financial gain could be achieved.
What is more important to remember, however, is this: this kind of sordid fate or ill fortune of our people—having to go abroad to earn a living, and then meeting one mishap after another that either maims them for life or kills them—was predicted to occur by a book known as the “Holy Bible”.
As the Biblical verse quoted under this column’s “Life’s Inspiration” today, if we no longer sincerely listen to, or carefully obey, God, we shall see our chidren given to other nations, where we will be unable to do something to help them when troubles come afflicting them. I suggest Filipinos should read their Bible more thoughtfully now, because its predictions are coming true in our own time!
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