Filipino Maid Tied to a Tree in Saudi Arabia as Punishment for Leaving Furniture in Sun

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
May 14, 2019 Updated: May 14, 2019

A Filipino maid was allegedly tied to a tree by her wealthy employers in Saudi Arabia on May 9 as punishment for leaving furniture out in the sun.

The 26-year-old woman named Lovely Acosta Baruelo has been working as a maid for a rich family in Riyadh for many months. While going about her duties, she left an expensive piece of furniture outside, which allegedly angered her employers, reported the Daily Mail.

Another colleague, also from the Philippines, took a picture of her when she was tied to a tree in the family garden. The matter was then reported to the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The Middle Eastern family was reportedly annoyed because the expensive furniture would have faded outside. This is allegedly why they tied her to the tree—to show her the effect of staying under sun.

The DFA helped Baruelo return home to La Union, Philippines.

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reported that Baruelo’s case was referred to them on 9 May, and she was repatriated on the same day.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reports that Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Lovely Acosta Baruelo from Saudi Arabia arrived in Manila at 8.55 p.m. on 9 May 2019,” said a DFA spokesperson, according to the Daily Mail.

One of Baruelo’s colleague sought help for her, and said that the employers would hurt them for small mistakes.

Baruelo was concerned about the safety of the co-workers who shared her pictures with the authorities. ‘Thank you so much to all those who helped me,” she told Daily Mail after reaching home. “I want to also ask help for the other Filipinos left there. They are the ones who helped me and uploaded my pictures. I am afraid for their safety. I hope they get rescued too.”

Baruelo also shared that the employers often deducted amounts from her salary. “You old man will find your karma, just you wait. Keep deducting our salaries,” she said. “This is the reason why you have poor health. It’s your karma for all the wrong things you did.”

The total number of OFWs in Saudia Arabia from April to September 2018 was 2.3 million. One out of four of these OFWs worked, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

A tenth of the country’s population works abroad to escape unemployment and low wages, and they send $31 billion back home every year. This figure contributes 10 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product, according to National Geographic.

There have been several cases of abuse against domestic workers in Saudia Arabia, where many families employ foreign domestic help.

In a shocking case of abuse, a Sri Lankan domestic help worker came back home from Saudi Arabia with 24 nails inside her body. The worker alleged that her Saudi employer punched nails in her body to punish her, according to news.com.au.

In another case of brutal abuse against a domestic help, an Indonesian housemaid Sumiati Binti Mustapa, 23, was mercilessly beaten by her Saudi employer, who put a hot iron to her head, disfigured her with scissors, broke her bones and left her with internal bleeding.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya
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