Saudi woman faces raps for forcing OFW to drink bleach

MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday welcomed the filing by authorities in Saudi Arabia of a torture case against a local woman for forcing a Filipina to drink household bleach.

“We would like to thank authorities in Saudi Arabia for filing the necessary charges against the employer who abused our kababayan,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said.

The Secretary issued the statement after the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah reported that authorities in Jizan Province have completed their investigation of the case of Agnes Mancilla, 35, a household service worker from Infanta, Quezon.

“We are counting on our Saudi friends in ensuring that our kababayan would be able to obtain justice for the unthinkable deed committed against her,” Cayetano added.

The Consulate General said Mancilla was rushed to the King Fahad Central Hospital sometime in April and placed under intensive care for internal injuries sustained after she was forced to ingest the chemical agent.

Consul General Edgar Badajos said Mancilla’s employer made her drink the cleaning solution after she reportedly made a mistake in preparing tea.

Badajos said they later learned from Mancilla that her employer has been making her work for about 20 hours a day and only providing her with coffee for her meals.

The envoy said when Consulate officials visited Mancilla at the hospital, she was bone-thin. Her back, ears, and arms also bore injuries that could not have been self-inflicted.

Lawyers retained by the Consulate General said Mancilla’s case will now proceed to full trial.

The lawyers said if the employer is found guilty, she will be sentenced to a prison term plus possible lashing and will be made to pay the OFW financial compensation. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/