A Filipina domestic helper, who reportedly suffered physical abuse, is being held by authorities in Kuwait for stabbing her employer, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday.
Ulambai Singgayan was reportedly beaten up after stabbing her employer, who she claimed threatened “to have her visa revoked and move her to another house where she would be killed.”
Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Charleson Hermosura said Singgayan had visible bruises in her face, chest, and arms. An x-ray conducted in the hospital also showed internal bleeding in her abdomen.
Hermosura said it was not immediately clear if Singgayan had been maltreated by her employer prior to the stabbing incident.
A team from the embassy went to the hospital where Ulambai, who hails from Maguindanao, was being treated for injuries allegedly inflicted on her by members of her employer’s family.
Singgayan, who came to Kuwait as a housemaid in February 2017, is facing felony charges and is currently under hospital arrest.
“Ulambai and her family here in the Philippines have our assurance that the DFA will provide her with legal and other assistance that she may require,” Foreign Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said in a statement.
The latest reported incident of alleged abuse against a Filipino worker came four months after the signing of a labor welfare protection agreement between Manila and Kuwait.
Rising incidents of abuses against Filipino domestic helpers, where some resulted to death, previously prompted the Philippine government to enforce a deployment ban, sparking a diplomatic row between the two states.
Kuwait was also angered by the Philippine embassy’s series of rescue operation of Filipino maids allegedly abused by their employers.
The ban was lifted days after the labor pact was signed in May, signaling normalization of the two countries’ relations.
Kuwait is a major labor destination for Filipinos in the Middle East, with over 250,000 currently working there, mostly as domestic helpers. —KBK, GMA News