The family of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Merly Cusilit Rivera thought she was already dead. For almost four years, she never contacted nor called them while working as a domestic helper in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
On Saturday, the family was both surprised and happy to see Rivera return home in Sitio Calaocan, Brgy. Salinungan West, San Mateo in Isabela City. Rivera, 42 years old, is a widow and has seven children.
However, they were also shocked to see Rivera blind in one eye, with burns in some parts of her body, injury to hands and fingers, and wounds on her head and ears.
Rivera narrated to News On C that her employer often maltreated her. They would slap and punch her and slam her head to a concrete. They would also douse her with boiling water, causing her blindness, and burn her body using a hot flat iron, Rivera said.
They would also crush her fingers between door jambs. Even the couple’s 8-year-old special child, according to Rivera, would also hurt her.
Rivera’s son, Richard, told News On C they’ve already lost hope on seeing their mother alive again after not hearing from her for years.
The OFW flew to UAE in 2014 to work as a domestic helper. For the first seven months, she managed to call her family back home from time to time but eventually lost contact with them.
She was finally sent home by her employer after another Filipina arrived to replace her. Her boss themselves took her to the airport but only gave her salary for two years.
Rivera said she wants to seek help from the government to blacklist her previous employer, as well as save her Filipina replacement from harm.
Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III vowed to extend financial assistance to Rivera’s family.