Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN – Science, Digital & Current Affairs
WARNING, with graphic image that may turn off some viewers. Apologies.
By DEEN MOHAMMAD & EDD K. USMAN
RIYADH/MANILA (SDN) — AN overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Zamboanga City, Western Mindanao, was reportedly a victim of hit-and-run in Al-Batha, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
SDN — Science and Digital News can’t verify the report as it was posted on Facebook. Information is scarce about the incident.
An OFW took a video of the male OFW with his bloodied face that appeared to have been scraped. His hands are bloodied, too.
Here’s the video. Thanks to the uploader, “Byahe Ta Dere”.
Another OFW who by coincidence is also from Zamboanga City said he could not ascertain what really happened to the Filipino in the video.
“This video became viral here yesterday (May 30). This guy is from Zamboanga but we can’t verify his story,” he says.
He is “a victim” of hit-and-run in Batha area, the Filipino market in Riyadh. OFWs dubbed Batha as Saudi Arabia’s Divisoria. (For non-Filipinos, Divisoria is a big and highly popular market in Manila where goods are generally inexpensive.)
OFWs have called Batha a “Filipino Market because there are many goods from the Philippines being sold there, Divisoria style with the goods laid out on the streets.
The OFW who once worked in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, said incidents like hit-and-run are police cases, so it falls under the Philippine Embassy’s responsibility.
He added that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-POLO) handles labor-related cases. The DOLE has POLO stations in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.
He pointed out that the video shows a police car but the Saudi policemen did not immediately attend to the hit-and-run victim.
“The police were just looking,” he lamented.
A man’s voice is heard in the video, while another was taking a video with a mobile phone.
Here’s the transcript:
Assalamu alaikum (Peace be with you)! Meron po tayong kabayan taga Zamboanga nasagasaan dito sa Batha Pobri. Halos kalahating oras na siya dito hindi pa po dumarating ang ambulansya. Ang mga pulis tumawag sila hanggang ngayon wala pa rin. Aywan ko anong nangyayari, ganito talaga ang batas nila dito sa Saudi Arabia. Sa lahat ng kababayan ingat-ingat na lang po tayo. Masakit po makakita ng ganito. Putang-ina, mamamatay na muna ang tao bago nila dalhin sa hospital. Masakit po.”
(Translation: Peace be with you! We have a countryman here from Zamboanga who was hit (by a car). He’s been here for half an hour, no ambulance arrived. The police called up one but none has come yet. I don’t know what’s happening, Saudi law is really like this. To all our countrymen let’s be extra careful. It hurts seeing something like this. (Cuss words here.) People can die for before being taken to a hospital. It hurts.)
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home to more than 800,000 OFWs, many of them already have a family there.
While there are many skilled workers among them such as doctors, nurses, engineers, and other professionals, a big majority are non-skilled like domestic helpers or household workers.
With a Filipino population approaching a million-strong, there are cry and sad stories. But there are also happy ones. (SDN)