DOLE to probe Pinoy engineer's fate in Saudi

Posted at 07/05/14 8:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to investigate the mysterious death of a Filipino engineer in Saudi Arabia, an official said yesterday.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said she has ordered the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Jeddah to send a report on the police investigation of Albert Bautista’s death “and to give us an update on the salaries and benefits that the OFW must receive from his company.”

Bataan provincial board member Dexter Dominguez, also known as comedian Teri Onor, earlier said that he received information that Bautista – his relative and neighbor – was still alive at a hospital for about four hours after he figured in a vehicular accident on June 4.

Dominguez said that for unknown reasons, Bautista’s body was chopped up and crushed when it arrived in the country in a sealed coffin.

He said Bautista could have been murdered over an anomaly he may have found in the company. The engineer was preparing to return to the Philippines because his contract was ending, Dominguez added.

Alfredo Bautista, the victim’s father, refused to give more details but confirmed the victim’s body had been chopped to pieces and crushed.

Baldoz said Bautista left the country to work in Saudi Arabia in 2010. He renewed his Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership last May 2012 under a 12-month contract.

“His OWWA membership is not up to date, but I have already instructed OWWA administrator Rebecca Calzado to reconsider Bautista’s case so he may receive death and funeral benefits,” she said.

Baldoz said she also directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to extend assistance to Bautista’s family.