Lovely Acosta Baruelo, a 26-year-old overseas Filipino worker (OFW), recently had her plight known when her photos began circulating the internet. These photos showed her tied to a tree, with her wrists and legs shackled to its trunk. Luckily, a fellow OFW was able to take these photos and use them to get the help needed.
The Philippine Embassy was alerted to the situation by netizens who were concerned over the photos. It was reported to them last May 9 and they were able to repatriate her on the same day. She arrived in Manila 8:55 pm of May 9.
Baruelo explains that the ‘punishment’ was caused by an honest mistake on her part. Her employers were enraged that she let a piece of expensive furniture sit out in the sun too long, risking damage to it through exposure. They told her that tying her to a tree would help her understand how harmful the sun could be.
While she is thankful to be back home in La Union, she worries for her fellow OFW’s especially those who worked in the same household as her. She wrote on Facebook: “Thank you so much to all those who helped me. I want to also ask help for the other Filipinos left there. They are the ones who helped me and uploaded my pictures. I am afraid for their safety. I hope they get rescued too.”
What do you think can be done to improve the lives of our OFWs?