OFW returns in a box two months after his death

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 April) — The remains of an overseas Filipino worker who was punched to the jaw by a thief in a grocery in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and who lapsed into coma for 17 days until he passed away on February 12, finally arrived Friday morning.

The youngest of four siblings, Ronald Jumamoy, 26, graduate of BS in Business Administration, and resident of Montevista in Compostela Valley province, was working as a cashier at a grocery store in Riyadh and was supposed to come home in July at the end of his two-year contract, his elder sister, Analyn Legarda said.

Legarda said Ronald was punched to his jaw by a 19-year old Syrian national who was accosted for stealing some items from the grocery store on January 27, 2016.

She said her brother was immediately rushed to the King Saud Medical City where he fell into a coma for 17 days and died of internal hemorrhage on February 12.

She lambasted the Philipine Embassy in Saudi Arabia for not allegedly not acting immediately on the transfer of her brother’s remains to the country.

Her brother’s remains arrived at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport here Friday, two and a half months after he passed away.  The body was claimed by his mother Adela Jumamoy and sisters Legarda and Luz Borlas.

Legarda said the suspect escaped but was arrested shortly after as a witness reported to the police the plate number of his car.

She said the family of the Syrian national was trying to communicate with them almost every day since his arrest to seek clemency for murder through the payment of “blood money” as the suspect is facing capital punishment by public beheading.

Legarda questioned the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia for disclosing her contact details to the family of the suspect.

“They have a translator who told us that we settle the case because the suspect is old. I immediately cut the call. I was so confused. The Embassy just told us that it would take about six months if we do not accept the amicable settlement. For us, six months is already too much and we could no longer bear the pain,” she said.

She said her family wants nothing but justice.

She said the Embassy seldom updated the family on the progress of the investigation and the case even after they sent a special power of attorney (SPA) to authorize the Embassy to file the case.

Discouraged by what she said was the Embassy’s seeming lack of compassion and interest to help  them, she sought the intervention of Patnubay, a group based in Jeddah who assists troubled OFWs.

She said the group was among those who followed up the Embassy so that the victim’s body will be flown to the Philippines.

Legarda resigned from her work in Hong Kong to work on the transfer of her brother’s remains to their home in Montevista town.

Red Bual, volunteer of Patnubay, also hit the Embassy for their lack of willingness to work on the victim’s case.

“Ang problema with the Embassy, sila mismo ang nag-aabogado sa mga accused so that the family of the victim will accept the amicable settlement instead of pursuing the case,” he said.  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)