Bishop welcomes conviction of SG couple who starved Filipina maid

Bishop welcomes conviction of SG couple who starved Filipina maid

Singapore Road. SHIRLEY PAYNOR

MANILA — The Catholic Church’s migrants’ ministry has welcomed a Singapore court decision, convicting a Singaporean couple who starved their former Filipina housemaid for over 15 months.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said what the employers did to Thelma Oyasan Gawidan, 40, was “brutal and heartless”.

“That is very inhuman act any man can inflict [on] his fellow human being. Justice must be served,” Santos said.

Gawidan was given only bread and instant noodles to eat twice a day, causing her weight to drop by 20kg or about 40 percent of her body weight.

Trader Lim Choon Hong got three weeks’ jail time and was also fined S$10,000 (roughly PhP360,000), while his wife Chong Sui Foon will be jailed for three months.

“It is just right that Singaporean couple not only be jailed but also pay necessary damages: moral, physical and psychological,” said the prelate.

Santos added that both the Church and the government have “moral and legal obligations” to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially those who are suffering.

“We must always help and assist them in any possible way. We pray always for their safety and change of hearts and compassion of their employers,” he said. CBCPNews