filipino maid saudi arabia
CTV News

Filipino maid tied to tree as punishment in Saudi Arabia

A 26-year-old Filipino maid was tied to a tree as punishment in Saudi Arabia. Lovely Acosta Baruelo was working for a wealthy family in Riyadh when she left a piece of furniture outside in the sunlight. The family was not happy that she left the furniture in the heat, which could have damaged it, reports CTV News. For punishment, the family tied the woman to a tree so that she could feel the effects of being out in the sun.

On May 9th, a colleague of the Filipino maid, who also happened to be Filipino, took the pictures of Lovely Acosta Baruelo being abused. The pictures showed Baruelo tied standing upright to a tree in the family garden with her wrists tied to the side.

The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was notified of the abuse. A co-worker of Baruelo posted the pictures on Facebook and asked for help. Additionally, she wrote of the abuse the family inflicted on them for the smallest of infractions. Consequently, the Embassy intervened and helped the mother of two return home to her family in the Philippines.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reports that Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Lovely Acosta Baruelo from Saudi Arabia arrived in the Manila at 8:55 pm on 9 May 2019,” a spokesperson for the Philippines said. “The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reported that the case of OFW Baruelo was referred to them on 9 May, and she was repatriated on the same day. OFW Baruelo was allegedly punished by her employer by being tied to a tree.” 

According to Wikipedia, Saudi Arabia processes more than 900 job applications from the Philippines daily. There are almost a million Filipino workers working in Saudi Arabia today. There have been numerous cases of Filipino workers being abused in the country. The abuse ranges from wage theft to sexual abuse.

Lovely Acosta Baruelo thanked those who helped her and spoke up for the Filipino workers being abused in Saudi Arabia. “Thank you so much to all those who helped me. I want to ask help for other Filipinos left there,” she said. “They are the ones who helped me and uploaded my pictures. I am afraid for their safety. I hope they get rescued too.”

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