Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News
MANILA – An employment agency was suspended from operation after a Filipina it recruited for a job in Saudi Arabia was sexually assaulted and ended up fighting for her life in the hospital.
Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said they have suspended Rejoice Employment International Corporation, pending investigation, after Irma Avila Edloy, 35, was rushed to King Salman Hospital in Riyadh due to severe injuries from suspected sexual assault. She is currently in coma.
Edloy arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last July 28 after being recruited by Rejoice Employment International Corporation, with its principal employer Al Sayyar Recruitment in Riyadh.
Philippine authorities suspect that the overseas Filipino worker was a victim of rape after medical reports showed lacerations in her private parts. Nurses said that Edloy’s underwear was full of blood when she was first treated at the hospital.
Medical reports also showed that Edloy had several bruises on her face and body.
According to duty nurse Hazel Bonbon, Edloy told nurses when she arrived that she was assaulted repeatedly, but was unable to reveal the suspect’s identity.
Bello, who visited Edloy late evening on Tuesday, said that they suspect the OFW’s employer is the assailant. However, Saudi police has yet to take action, pending investigation.
"Apparently she was abused sexually, and parang tinuturo niya employer niya. Criminal action has to be taken as soon as we can get enough evidence," Bello said after seeing Edloy, who was on life support.
"Andito ang team ng Department of Health (DOH), I will ask them (doctors) to also take a look. Mga abogado natin I want them also to provide legal attention, dapat malaman ito ng authorities," Bello said.
Edloy was transferred into a private room with Filipina nurses attending to her needs.