When Vanessa Esguerra went to Kuwait to work as domestic helper last August 2016, she hoped this would bring good fortune to her family but she died even before her contract ended. Her employer claimed she killed herself but the family protests this, saying she had told them about getting sexually abused before her death.
Believing that Vanessa was killed, the family sought help from the Department of Labor and Employment to launch an investigation on the matter in hopes that they will find justice.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III confirmed that an investigation is being done on Vanessa’s death; although initial findings showed that there was no accusation of maltreatment.
But the family insists that Vanessa did not kill herself. Before her alleged suicide, she told some close family members that the father of her employer has been sexually harassing her. Although she feared for her life, there was really nothing she can do about it in that foreign country.
Sadly, she lost her life. Of course, it was possible that she committed suicide because she could no longer endure the abuse she was getting but her family believes she was stronger than that and she might have been killed after telling someone of the abuse.
It’s just sad that she is back home in the Philippines but inside a coffin and no longer able to enjoy the fruits of her labor in Kuwait.
Her death is another striking example of the sad, even horrific, plight of many OFWs, especially those working as domestic helpers and caregivers. The Philippines has since placed a ban against the deployment of household workers to Kuwait.
Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Philippines, Musaed Saleh Althwaikh, has requested the Philippines to lift the employment ban as it is affecting workers last January 27 but Bello has, thankfully, denied the request.
Watch the sad report on Vanessa’s plight here: