Lawmaker seeks probe of OFW’s death in Australia
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The lone representative of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) yesterday urged the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to look into the death of a Filipino farm worker in Australia.

“The circumstances of the reported death of Jerwin Royupa are suspicious. His family has cast doubt on the alleged cause of his death. That is why we are asking the concerned authorities to start an inquiry,” Rep. John Bertiz of party-list group ACTS-OFW said.

“We send our deepest condolences to Jerwin’s family and we will work closely with the concerned agencies and the government of Australia to find out what really happened while he was working there,” he said.

Based on what ACTS-OFW has learned, Royupa, 21, left his hometown of Calasiao, Pangasinan in February to work in a farm in Australia. 

About a month into his work, he told his family that he was encountering problems with his employer, who allegedly took his passport. 

His difficulties prompted him to plan to return home before the end of this month. However, on Wednesday, his relatives said Royupa’s employer informed them that he had died after jumping from a moving vehicle.

They said they were told that Jerwin suffered from critical bleeding in the head, chest and abdomen.

“Royupa’s family found the employer’s story farfetched, as they had no reason to believe that Jerwin will hurt himself days before he was bound to return home,” Bertiz said.

He said cases such as that of Royupa “are not new to our OFWs.”

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