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2 Pinay maids rescued from Gadhafi kin's house arrive

- Sheila Crisostomo () - September 25, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The two Filipina maids rescued from the house of a relative of fallen Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi are finally home.

Diana Jill Rivera, 30, of Dumaguete City, and Mary Ann Ducos Almario, 29, of San Agustin, Isabela, arrived yesterday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on board Emirates Air flight EK332 from Libya via Dubai.

They were accompanied by Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa, who spearheaded their rescue last Sept. 19.

The two overseas Filipino workers were reunited with their families after years of working for Shariff Sahal, a kin of Gadhafi.

They were welcomed at the NAIA Terminal 1 by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Carmelita Dimzon.

“They (Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and Mustafa) kept the rescue under wraps because of security reasons and until such time that the two have traveled safely back to the Philippines,” Dimzon said.

From the airport, the two were brought to the OWWA center in Pasay City where they met their families.

Rivera broke into tears upon seeing her six-year-old son Jaylord, her father Jaime and elder sister Jenny.

Almario, on the other hand, could not contain her happiness when she saw her mother Alma and brother Jay Cris.

“We are very happy to be able to come home. We thought we would never see our families again,” said Rivera.

Rivera was assigned to take care of their employer’s children and to clean the house while Almario served as cook.

According to Rivera’s father, he would never allow her to work again abroad.

“We’ll try to make do with what we have here. I don’t want her to be away from us again. I don’t think I can go through the pain that we felt when we didn’t know if she could come home alive,” he said.

It was on Feb. 21 when Rivera’s sister Jenny brought to the attention of the Blas Ople Center the plight of Rivera and Almario and two other Filipino maids – Racquel Dadang and Zenaida Labugen – in the Gadhafi household.

The center then coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment for their rescue.

According to Mustafa, he tried to bring home Racquel and Zenaida but they refused, citing the salary that their employer still owed them.

Dimzon said the two household workers will receive P10,000 each as financial assistance from the government as well as psycho-socio counseling and free medical examination.

Rivera and Almario will also be given jobs at a Cebu hotel. – With Rudy Santos

ALMARIO BLAS OPLE CENTER CARMELITA DIMZON DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT DIANA JILL RIVERA DIMZON DUMAGUETE CITY EMIRATES AIR GADHAFI RIVERA RIVERA AND ALMARIO
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