After years of waiting for repatriation, 26-year-old overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Fahima “Candies” Alagasi is finally coming home to the Philippines. Alagasi was the Filipina domestic helper who suffered severe burns at the hands of her female employer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, four years ago.
In May 2014, Alagasi made headlines when her cousin posted her photos on Facebook to show the maltreatment she experienced from her employer at the time. According to a report by ABS-CBN News, the then 22-year-old OFW dropped the lid of a thermos while she was preparing coffee for her employer. When Alagasi picked up the cap, the latter grabbed the thermos from her and poured all of its boiling contents on her back.
The OFW escaped with her cousin and sought refuge with a shelter under the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh. She then went on to file a complaint against her employer, but it was subsequently dismissed.
In retaliation, her boss filed an absconding case against her for fleeing and prayed for damages to the amount of $66,000 (roughly PHP 3.4 million) . While this case was also dismissed, it was elevated to the appellate court, dragging on their legal battle for years. Alagasi’s repatriation, therefore, was put on hold.
However, ACTS-OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III announced today that after four years, the Filipina worker will finally be able to come home. According to him, it was a heartwarming gesture by Saudi Arabian Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Bertiz told reporters:
“The false accusation and absconding cases filed by the employer against Fahima have been resolved. She has been cleared to leave Riyadh, and we intend to bring her home right away.”
In his speech, the lawmaker also took a moment to thank the President and the Saudi Prince for intervening in Alagasi’s case.
Here are some of the netizens reactions to the news: