Pinay’s FB post saves her from abuses in Jordan

A Facebook post by a Filipino woman facing alleged abuses by her employer has led to her rescue in Amman, Jordan, officials have said.
Josalyn Ombe, 35, is now under the custody of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Jordan after being rescued from her reportedly abusive employer, reported Inquirer.
“We are looking after Ombe and the Polo is providing her security and requirement,” labor attaché Florenda Herrera reportedly said.
The labor office was quoted as saying that it was closely monitoring the case for further developments and was helping the maid prepare a possible suit against her employer.
Ombe, from Manila, claimed to have been maltreated by her female employer, a certain Ahmed Saleem Marashdeh of Madaba Amman, Jordan.
She first sought help from Abante, a tabloid, which published her Facebook account in February in which she detailed her alleged abuses, including being starved and overworked by her employer, the report said.
“I’m not OK. It’s getting worse here… I need to go out of here before it gets too late. I can’t take it anymore. I hope I can get the assistance I need the soonest,” she had reportedly said.
Ombe was deployed by the World Class Inc. Agency last November as a household service worker, sadi the news portal.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment said it had extended financial and livelihood assistance to the family of an OFW killed in Jordan last Feb. 5.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III personally delivered the aid to Natividad Dalupang, mother of Felma Dalupang Maramag, who was found dead along with her employer following a fire at her employer’s home, reported Inquirer.
Maramag was reportedly found with bruises all over her body and a stab wound in the skull, which was also cracked due to blunt force trauma. Her remains have been flown to Tuguegarao City and will be buried on Feb. 28, but it was not clear whether labor officials will pursue a case in Jordan.
The victim’s family received P220,000 financial assistance and scholarship assistance for her daughter Angelica from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa), P50,000 from the recruitment agency, and P500,000 in life insurance, the report said.
The Owwa is also reportedly coordinating with Maramag’s family regarding the release of the victim’s P200,000 savings in the bank.

‘Pacquiao can knock McGregor out in 2 rounds’ – Koncz

Michael Koncz, advisor to eight-division world boxing

champ, Manny Pacquiao, said the boxer could have knocked UFC

lightweight champion Conor McGregor out in two rounds had the

match, to which he had put out a $25-million offer for, pushed


“I put a fight out for $25 million a month ago,” Koncz said in a recent

media briefing. “He (McGregor) can be knocked out in two rounds,”

he added.


The fight did not pan out because “I have been told there were issues

between McGregor and UFC, that the fight could diminish his

(McGregor’s) marketability,” Koncz said.

This could not immediately be independently confirmed though

reports have it that UFC President Dana White was not interested

because he “doesn’t love (Bob) Arum,” Pacquiao’s promoter.

“I love Manny Pacquiao,” White told Yahoo! Sports. “But I don’t love Bob

Arum. You can tell Arum to save his money and not make any calls over here

because we aren’t doing business with him.”

Pacquiao has said he’ll take McGregor on if the fight is in boxing.

Koncz was in Abu Dhabi in mid-February to announce that 38-year- old

Pacquiao will be spending the rest of his boxing career in the UAE where he’ll

be having at least three more fights in the next two years before he retires.

Pinoy designer accuses ex-Miss Peru of copying dress

Filipino designer Mark Bumgarner has accused former Miss Peru, Laura Spoya, of ripping off a dress on her wedding day.
Spoya had consulted Bumgarner in the past about purchasing his Clover dress – a high-neck midi dress with an oversized bow that was part of the designer’s 2016 bridal collection, reported Push.
However, Bumgarner reportedly said he continued with his work like usual after the beauty queen later told him that the wedding has been cancelled.
He later found out that Spoya did tie the knot on 13 February, and wore a bridal dress similar to his creation, reported The Hiva Asia.
In the comment section of his Instagram, Bumgarner reportedly said, “She wanted to order this from me. We were talking for a long time. Then she said the wedding is cancelled for some time. Then I saw these photos on Instagram.”
He later shared that Spoya has blocked him on Facebook, and that he only knew about the dress after someone tagged him to it, the reports said.
An angry Bumgarner has called the replica a bad copy of his design and demanded Spoya to apologise to him, said the news portals.
The fashion designer also reportedly shared a video of his previous fashion show in which the dress first made its debut to further prove his point.

Student chops off fingers of two in Dubai road rage

Road rage had caused a student to attack two employees with a sword and chopped off their fingers, a court heard in Dubai.
The 20-year-old student allegedly attacked three Pakistani employees after he blocked their way at a traffic signal along Al Maktoum Street in June, reported Gulf News.
The student jumped out of his sports utility vehicle, according to records, and attacked the trio in the middle of the street. Two Pakistanis lost one finger each while attempting to dodge the sword attack and avoid being killed.
After the incident, the suspect walked into a police station and claimed he was attacked at the traffic signal and that he had been hurt, the report said.
The policeman, who responded to the student, reportedly told him to go to the hospital and bring a medical report to pursue legal action against his alleged assailants.
As per the records, the student went to the hospital but never returned to the police station. Meanwhile, Dubai Police’s operation room was notified that a man had attacked three men and two of them were seriously injured and lost their fingers, said the news portal.
Prosecutors accused the 20-year-old of attempting to murder the three employees.
On Thursday, the suspect failed to show up before the Dubai Court of First Instance where he was scheduled to enter his plea.
Prosecutors said one employee had a left-hand finger chopped off, while another had a right-hand finger chopped off and two other fingers partly severed, reported Gulf News.
A 24-year-old victim testified to prosecutors that he was driving his vehicle in the proper lane when the suspect tossed a cigarette into his car.
“The student drove his car parallel to my vehicle and tossed a cigarette … I did not react because it was obvious that he was picking on us and trying to provoke us into fighting with him. When we reached the traffic light, he suddenly swerved his car towards my lane and slammed the brakes. He and two others from their car got out and attacked us without any provocation. The student then took out a sword and attacked me … I lost a finger when I tried to defend myself,” he reportedly told the prosecutors.
Also, a 27-year-old employee [who was also attacked] reportedly testified to prosecutors that when the passengers of the other car tried to chase them [Pakistani trio], they ran away. “We ran away and hid for nearly two minutes until the assailants left. When we returned to our car, we found the chopped fingers on the ground. We called the police and we were rushed to the hospital,” he told the prosecutors.
A policeman reportedly told the prosecutors: “When I asked the student about what had happened, he claimed that the trio attacked him first and tried to assault him with a knife … he claimed that he took the knife away from them and defended himself. He gave a contradicting statement.”
Presiding judge Urfan Omar will hand out a ruling in absentia against the student on March 13, reported Gulf News.

Free midday parking may soon end in Sharjah

Free midday parking in Sharjah would soon come to an end as the municipality is putting up new signs with paid parking timings from 8am to 10pm in various areas.
At present, parking is free between 1pm to 5pm, which has been the case for many years, reported Gulf News. However, last November, the Sharjah Municipal Council had reportedly taken a decision to end free midday parking.
Officials had then said the move would prevent motorists from occupying parking spaces for the whole day, which restricts the flow of shoppers and visitors in busy areas, the report said.
Authorities had reportedly said free midday parking would be discontinued after the council’s decision is published in the official gazette, to ensure the public is made aware about the new rules.
However, no specific date was mentioned for the new timings to come into effect. Ultimately, more open parking spaces will be available for shoppers, especially around vital and commercial zones, officials said.
On Thursday, signs could be seen being installed in Maisaloon area on Thursday. A motorist who lives on Jamal Abdul Nasser Street said he also saw the new signs — which are orange instead of the usual yellow — on Al Wahda Street and Buhairah Corniche, said the news portal.
Some of the signs also show Ramadan timings, from 8am to midnight.
Last May, Dubai closed its free midday parking window, enforcing paid parking hours from 8am to 10pm, reported Gulf News.

Al Wahda Mall allocates parking space for women

Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi has introduced ‘Ladies Parking’ to make it easier for women shoppers to find a place to park their cars.
The mall announced that it has allocated over 80 pink parking bays in the ground floor of the mall and the extension area, due to the mall’s growing number of women visitors, reported Gulf News.
This is the first time a mall in Abu Dhabi introduces an initiative that focuses on the convenience and ease for women shoppers, the report said.
“We are looking at aligning our mall initiatives with that of the government, and provide women with pink parking bays known as ‘Ladies Parking.’ The hassle free parking spaces will encourage women to visit the mall more often,” Mohammed Nauman Thakur, general manager, Al Wahda Mall, was quoted as saying by the news portal.

Starvation forces maid to lose 19.5kg in 15 months

At least one year jail term has been sought for a couple who had starved their Filipina maid in Malaysia, local media reports said.
Freelance trader Lim Choon Hong and housewife Chong Sui Foon, both 48, had deprived Thelma Oyasan Gawidan, now 41, of adequate food causing the mother of three to go from 49kg to 29.4kg in 15 months between 2013 and 2014, reported Malaysian Digest.
“It is sickening that the victim had been forced to endure inhumane treatment of such cruelty and duration in what must have for her been an unspeakably hellish and unbearable existence,” Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Soo Tet reportedly said
He was quoted as saying that even though Chong has a history of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), there was no link between her mental condition and her offence. “She deliberately and selectively exercised blatant discrimination against the victim,” he added.
DPP Tan reportedly told District Judge Low Wee Ping that Lim was jointly responsible in restricting Madam Gawidan’s food over the entire period of her employment from Jan 23, 2013 to April 18, 2014.
He said when the maid approached Lim directly to ask for more food, he denied her request and told her to eat what she had been given.
DPP Tan reportedly said: “He personally purchased the plain white bread and instant noodles meant for the victim’s sole and exclusive consumption. He was expressly aware of the food portions and meals which the victim was being provided, including the quantity and type of food, as well as the frequency and timing of the victim’s meals.”
On Thursday, the couple’s lawyer, Raymond Lye told the court that the couple has decided to give Madam Gawidan $10,000 in compensation.
He also reportedly asked the judge to consider a mandatory treatment order (MTO) or probation for Chong.
An MTO is for offenders who suffer from psychiatric conditions. They must go for psychiatric treatment in lieu of jail time, said the news portal.
But Judge Low reportedly denied his request, stressing there was no evidence that her OCD extended to an obsession and compulsion of restricting Madam Gawidan’s food and starving her.
On March 23, last year, Lim reportedly pleaded guilty to failing to provide Madam Gawidan with adequate food, causing the weight loss.
Chong pleaded guilty to abetting him in committing the offence, the report said.
The couple, who have three children between 17 and 22 years old, will be back in court on March 16, reported Malyasian Digest.

SWS: 11.2M Filipinos stayed jobless in last quarter of 2016

About 11.2 million Filipino adults remained jobless in the last quarter of 2016, the worst in two years, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey has pointed out.
But the poll done last Dec. 3-6 noted a record high optimism on job availability in nearly two decades, Inquirer quoted the survey as saying.
Nationwide, 25.1 percent of 1,500 adult respondents were jobless, 6.7 points up from 18.4 percent or an estimated 8.2 million jobless Filipinos in September, the report said.
Although the latest figure was the worst since December 2014 which posted 27-percent joblessness rate, it brought 2016 average to 22.3 percent, slightly moved from 21.9 percent in 2015.
In particular, the fourth quarter joblessness rate consisted of 12.2 percent (5.5 million) who voluntarily left their jobs, 8.7 percent (3.9 million) who lost their jobs because of economic circumstances, and 4.3 percent (1.9 million) who were first-time job seekers, said the news portal.
SWS also reportedly put the fourth quarter labor force participation rate at 72.1 percent or 44.8 million adults, barely unchanged from 72 percent or 44.7 million.
By age, joblessness rate dropped 16.7 points, the lowest in 12 years, among those aged 18-24 years old but rose by 14.8 points among those aged 25-34; 9.6 points among 35-44, and 5.7 points among those aged 45 and older, the report pointed out.
Those who are optimistic of more available jobs rose to 48 percent in December from September’s 44 percent, while those who said otherwise barely moved to 12 percent from 13 percent. It yielded a net optimism job availability score (more jobs minus less jobs, correctly rounded) of “very high” +37, the highest since the poll began in 1998, reported Inquirer.
The definition of SWS joblessness covers respondents aged 18 and over who are without jobs at present and are looking for work. This excludes those not looking for a job such as housewives, students and retired or disabled persons.
The SWS survey had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

Maid jailed in Qatar for stealing, misusing ATM

A Filipina maid, convicted of stealing QR9,000 using her employer’s ATM card, has been sentenced to one year jail and ordered to be deported from Qatar.
The m’s theft was caught in the ATM camera, reported Doha-based Arabic daily Arrayah.
She reportedly admitted using the card, and spending QR1,200 from the stolen money while transferring QR3,000 to her home country.
The court also ordered her to pay the remaining cash, QR4,800, to the victim, said the news portal.

De Lima accuses Duterte of intimidating critics

The Philippine Senator Leila De Lima has alleged that her arrest over drug charges was President Rodrigo Duterte’s way of silencing critics of his intensified campaign against illegal drugs that has claimed lives of around 7,000 Filipinos.
“Clearly, this administration has evil and dangerous plans: to make an example of me to intimidate, silence, and destroy anyone who dares challenge them; to draw public attention away from the government’s abuses and failures; and to cover up their most murderous war on drugs,” ABS-CBN News quoted De Lima as saying in a video message recorded at the Senate prior to her arrest.
De Lima reportedly said Duterte has had a “fixation for revenge” against her after she called for an investigation against the alleged Davao Death Squad during her tenure as Commission on Human Rights chair.
Duterte, in previous speeches, has been vocal about publicly taking down a certain human rights stalwart who has been after him since he was mayor of Davao City, the report said.
“The Filipino people know your style, Mr. President. To put the rule of law in your hands, silence your critics, and destroy those who will go against your caprices,” De Lima was quoted as saying.
De Lima reportedly warned against the president’s capacity to “destroy” the credibility and honor of those who stand against the administration’s policies.
“If they can do this to a sitting Senator, what is stopping this administration from doing the same to ordinary Filipinos?” De Lima was quoted as saying.
The lady senator reportedly appealed to Filipinos to pray for the Philippines, and to safeguard the “fragile democracy against attempts to curtail our rights and freedom, and against the return of dictatorship.
“From all these violence, killings and crooked governance of the Duterte regime, clearly, I am not the Public Enemy No. 1 here, but this regime who has no respect for basic human rights, especially the right to life,” ABS-CBN News quoted her as saying.