The family of Mary Jean Balag-ey Alberto, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who fell to her death from the 13th floor of an Abu Dhabi building she was working at, expressed their grief with suspicion that Alberto did not really fall from the building but may have been pushed by her employer or was thrown out. Lilian Falyao, Alberto’s cousin said that Alberto went to Abu Dhabi to work for her children and not to kill herself.
Lilian was quoted saying on Monday, October 14, as reported by Rappler, “Walang dahilan para mag-suicide ang aming pinsan sa Abu Dhabi. Bilang isang ina, ipinikit niya ang kaniyang mga mata at pumunta sa abroad para may ipapadalang pera sa mga anak. ”
(Our cousin has no reason to kill commit suicide in Abu Dhabi. As a mother, she closed her eyes and went to work abroad so that she can send money to her children.)
Mary Jean was a Bontok Kankana-ey from Bontoc, Mountain Province. She was married to Rodel Alberto of Antipolo, Rizal, had three children but they got separated and she had to take care of her children alone.
Falyao said that her cousin, Alberto, was only in Abu Dhabi for three months. She said that Alberto applied for a driver’s job but when she arrived in Abu Dhabi, she worked as a domestic helper for a Moroccan family who unfortunately maltreated her.
Falyao disclosed that twelve hours before her death, Alberto sent text messages to her sister who is also working in Abu Dhabi, telling her that her employers are very cruel and were maltreating her. She was not also being paid.
Falyao added that Alberto told her sister through texts that she would prefer to be jailed so she could escape from her cruel employers and be free from her debilitating situation. Falyao stressed that those text messages were sent by Alberto to her sister 12 hours before she allegedly fell from the building.
“Hanggang October 2, doon siya namatay, nahulog daw siya (Until October 2, she died there, they said she fell),” Falyao said.
Alberto’s family who is represented by Falyao are asking the concerned agencies, including the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Alberto’s recruitment agency to help with the investigation to find out if there was a foul play in the death of their cousin. Likewise they are appealing that Alberto’s body be immediately sent home.
Relatively, the Department of Foreign Affairs is still waiting for the results of the forensic investigation before they can proceed with the next step to do. While it is very painful for the family to be waiting for further updates, they can only wait and pray.