4.29.2012

Reactions to Various Rape Stories in K. S. A. That Were Published in The News

Before we tackle rape cases in Saudi Arabia, we must first learn these three categories:

Real Rape cases- should come in the provisions of Hirabah for inflicting bodily harm and assault. Punishment should be death under hudud but since there is a victim, this falls under Qisas. In Qisas, the accused can only be spared from the death penalty through tanazul (forgiveness) from the victim or the victims family. The victim or the victim's family has the right to ask for diyaa (blood money) from the accused.

Rape with Consent, immorality, adultery and fornication- are classified as zina (illicit affair). Real rape victim might fall into this category due to the following failures; late filing of complaints, absence of medical report and no visible signs of struggle. The complainant (victim) is guilty of zina if it is proven that she has a relationship with the rapist. There are no private rights or blood money to be received by the victim.

False Rape Accusations (qadhf or slander)- are not qisas but are considered as hudud. These are punishable by jail terms, accompanied with 80 or more lashes to the guilty party. Many women always use the excuse RAPED by their employer as their alibi if they want to go home after many years of being undocumented. They prefer to tell their stories to the media rather than to the police or to their embassies. In most cases they will be repatriated with children they bore from their boyfriends. Sad to say, most of them were married to other men before.

Now let us talk about the rape cases that were published in the online news lately.

1. Reaction to: "OFW Rights Group Seeks Repatriation Of Rape Victims", written by Rudy Estimo (link:/saudiarabia/article141789.ece)

Rape is a very serious allegation. The writer should evaluate first if these rape accusations are all true before publishing his story in a widely-read newspaper.

What did these women do right after they escaped? Did they file a case against their employer for rape? Did they seek help from the Philippine embassy? No, they worked outside, had boyfriends and enjoyed the freedom that they could not avail while in their employer's house. Later, they got pregnant, sought help from their embassy and requested to stay in the shelter to avoid detention.

Who are the fathers of these children? Are the Saudi employers or the boyfriends whom they lived with after they had escaped from their employer's house?

Of the ten mothers, only one had claimed that her child's father is a Saudi. The rest of the children's fathers were identified to be Bangladeshis, Egyptians and mostly were Filipinos; yet all of them claimed that they were raped by their employers?

Did they file a case against the fathers of these kids? No, in fact these men are still supporting these women financially while the latter and their children are staying in the shelter!

One of the mothers insisted that the father of her child is a Saudi. Did she file a case right away? No, she ran away and worked outside for another employer. She claimed that she never knew that she was pregnant. She only sought help from the embassy when she was about to deliver the baby. If a housemaid got pregnant and it is proven that her employer is the father, then that would considered a rape case (for the reason that the housemaid is always deprived of the act to defend herself while staying in her employer's house).

Almost three years ago, I suggested to her that she must submit her son for DNA testing. The result would then be compared to the DNA of her Saudi employer. If it is proven that the employer is the father of the child, then her employer will go to jail and she can get a blood money. However if it is proven that the employer is not the father then she is guilty of "false accusation" and immorality.

She then told me that she would prefer to go home than to file a case.

False accusation or slander (qadhf) is a criminal offense in Saudi Arabia, and it punishable by jail terms and lashes. Immorality (zina) and prostitution (bighaa) are also punishable by jail term and 100 lashes. These are under hudud punishments which the penalties are fixed.

Who are the false accusers here in this news report?

Rape happens anywhere and Saudi Arabia is not an exception. Here, we have victims of real rape cases who are still fighting for their rights. They have proofs, signs of struggles and medical reports. They filed cases against the rapists and the victims are now waiting for justice.

Those fake rape claims wont help the situation of the REAL rape victims. If a REAL rape did happened, then who will believe us if 99 percent of those who claimed to have been raped are not telling the truth?

Suggestions for Resolutions: Staying in the shelter for three years is a long wait for these mothers and children to be repatriated. The Philippine Ambassador should have made a personal appeal to the Governor of Saudi Arabia Prince Salman, asking the good Amir for humanitarian consideration to repatriate the mothers and their children.

Recommendations: THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT MUST STOP SENDING FILIPINA WORKERS TO WORK AS DOMESTIC WORKERS ABROAD. Most of the distressed women are domestic workers. Most of these women who claimed to have been raped are domestic workers. Most of these women who ran away and got pregnant by their boyfriends are domestic workers. Besides, in the Middle East, the domestic workers are not included in the Labor laws. They are overworked without day-off and stayed in their employers house, 7 days a week. Most of them are not allowed to have a mobile phone. When a domestic worker is abused or maltreated by her employer, it would be too late for our embassy and even the authorities to respond.

2. Reactions to: Rape Victim Leaves for Philippines", written by Rudy Estimo (link: /saudiarabia/article59734.ece)

This is another shallow story about rape and the writer just relied mostly on the account of one party. The information could have been taken from the alleged victim or from just a gossiper.

Since the writer had mentioned about the intervention of the police and the Philippine Consulate, he should have tried to get a statement from at least one of these offices. He failed to do that and he just wrote his story as if the rape really had happened.

Excerpt from the said article "The suspect did not deny the charge and was asked to pay SR5,000 and issue an exit visa for the maid's repatriation."

1. If the employer had admitted to the rape then what was the recommendation of the police investigator or the prosecutor's office for public rights? How many jail terms and lashes?

2. Is the amount 5,000Sr given to the housemaid was for blood money or for back wages?

Committing al zina (adultery, immorality) and hiraba (real rape and other bodily harm) are hudud crimes. The writer should have asked the police why the employer was spared from punishments if he admitted the rape.

I sent an email to Consul General Ezzedin Tago about this story and he replied:

From: Ezzedin Tago

Subject: Resending: Reaction/Inquiry: Arabnews - Filipina rape victim in Saudi flies home

To: "Joseph Henry B. Espiritu"

Date: Friday, June 4, 2010, 8:17 AM

Joseph,

I was out of Saudi Arabia for official business and just returned last night.

As a general rule, we don't issue press releases on cases of rape. I agree that we should be asked before the consulate is mentioned in any article. Unfortunately, some in the media do not accord the consulate the right of reply to many of these statements.

I will check out the background of this case and get back to you.

Sincerely,

Ezzedin

If it is true that the housemaid had contacted the Philippine Consulate coordinator of the area, then the coordinator should not advise the housemaid to escape. Instead, the Philippine Consulate should send his officers to file the complaints directly to the nearest Police Station Civil Rights Department (hukok). The police would invite the employer. The employer would be advised to bring his housemaid to the Police Station. An investigation must be conducted in the presence of the employer, the housemaid and the officer of the consulate.

Rudy Estimo must learn how to be a responsible writer. He must be equipped with the knowledge of the laws and procedures before writing about a rape case. We have real rape victims who are still seeking justice in the criminal court. They are the ones who are hurt by these shallow stories. It is also not fair to destroy the reputation of a country and its people by an invalidated rape story such as this.

I believe in the freedom of expression. I believe in the freedom of the press but we must all be cautious that we must not hurt the feelings of innocent people.

Recommendations: Journalists, News reporters and NGOs must have the knowledge of the laws and procedures before writing or reporting a story about rape.

The Philippine Government must educate the officers of our consulate and embassy about the laws and procedures of Saudi Arabia before sending them here.

Again, The Philippine Government must stop sending Filipina workers to work as domestic workers abroad. Our women can do better than being housemaids in foreign lands.

3. Reactions to: "Filipino Schoolteacher Claims She Was Raped By Parent", written by Rudy Estimo. (link: /saudiarabia/article84254.ece)

There are so many loopholes in this rape story which makes it look as if its from a tabloid newspaper. The writer only relied from the information supplied to him by the group Migrante. He could have asked for information from the Philippine Embassy where the woman's complaint was filed.

We also had conducted our investigation about this story and we found out that this is a self inflicted case. A case caused by stupidity, adultery and immorality.

The sad thing about this story is that all persons involved were all Filipinos. The man is working in a Government hospital here in Riyadh. The woman was working as a teacher in a Private Philippine School, also in Riyadh. The woman has another boyfriend who is a member of Migrante.

During her free time (mostly at night), the Filipina admitted that she conducted tutorial lessons to the child of the Filipino. The tutorial lessons were conducted in the mans house. That is illegal in Saudi Arabia and they can be charged with zina (adultery, immorality and prostitution). On the other hand, the man claimed that the Filipina teacher was his girlfriend.

The Migrante boyfriend got jealous and told the Filipina teacher that the man allegedly posted nude photos of her in Facebook website.

The woman was so worried that this scandal might reach to her real husband's knowledge. With the help of Migrante, the Filipina went to the Philippine Embassy and filed her complaint against the Filipino. The Philippine Embassy officer advised the two to settle their misunderstanding by themselves. It is not rape but adultery if the two had illicit relationship. Besides, the alleged rape had happened a long time before the woman decided to file her complaints.

Discontented by the Philippine Embassy's advice, Migrante resorted to tap the writer of Arabnews to write the story of the Filipina. On July 15, 2010, the story "Filipino Schoolteacher Claims She Was Raped By Parent" was published.

Rudy Estimo should have verified the story by asking for more information from the Philippine Embassy or from the alleged rapist.

The Filipina could use this Arabnews story as a proof to her husband that she was really raped. She already left Saudi Arabia but her story did not end there. Migrante had spammed a hate email against the Filipino with the subject "Manyakis ng Riyadh (Sex Maniac of Riyadh)". They wrote almost the complete information and attached the photos of the Filipino in that email. The email spread rapidly that there is no chance for the Filipino to defend himself. His child dropped from school because of this embarrassment.

Migrante did stop their way of getting justice. They claimed to have submitted a complaint letter to the administration of the hospital where the Filipino works. Rudy Estimo of Arabnews then wrote this article, "Filipino Rape Victim Complains To Attacker's Employer". (link: /saudiarabia/article89650.ece)

And Migrante still did not stop there. They spread the alleged nude photos of the lovers in the emails to prove that there allegations against the Filipino are all true.

Recommendation: Most Filipinos know that Migrante is an unruly group who always resort to lies just to get the attention from the media, and to attack the Philippine Government no matter what, possibly just to get funding from their donors. I should not waste my time talking against Migrante but they have gone too far that they are already a threat to the Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia.

4. Now, I need your reactions to the following articles

OFW Group To Probe Pinay's Saudi Rape tale - /story/98358

RP Envoy Scores Pinay Over False Rape Claim -/story/100691/rp-envoy-scores-pinay-over-false-rape-claim

Note: I had an open communication with the officers of our Embassy when they went to Qatif to rescue this Filipina. When they were in the Police Station, I kept talking to Tom and Zailon through our mobile phones and I listened to every conversation.

I can attest that it is not true that Clarita did not receive her salary. She had an ATM card where she kept her salary as savings. The employer told Tom and Zailon that Clarita requested to open a bank account because she wanted to save her salary here.

Employer: How much is your money now in your savings?

Clarita: 3900 Riyals Baba.

Employer: When was the last time you checked your savings (ATM card)?

Clarita: Two weeks ago Baba. (That means she was free to go out?)

Employer: I deposited your salary for this month last week. It is now 4600SR.

Then they went to the bank to withdraw Clarita's salary and to close the account.

When the employer left, I told Tom to ask Clarita if she was really raped and that if it was true that she was videotaped by four men. She answered that she was not raped and that it was just a creation of her imagination because she wanted to go home. Tom and Zailon promised to Clarita that the embassy would help her fight for justice if she was really raped but Clarita insisted that it was just her imagination.

This Filipina admitted that she didnt want to finish her contract; thus she decided to use the story about rape. When asked about the alleged video, she answered that it was just a creation of her imagination.

I told Tom, that my suspicion was that this Filipina had a boyfriend and most probably she was pregnant; that she was afraid of the punishment; and that she could use the rape story for her husband to accept her back. I asked Tom to bring the lady for medical checkup.

Tom told me that he also had the same suspicion but the medical checkup might not help Clarita. So, I suggested Tom to let Clarita sign an undertaking that she was not really raped and that she just wanted to go home. Tom answered that they would do that but not in the police station or she might be punished for slander. Remember, false accusation or slander is a hudud crime.

So, I told Tom to ask the lady if she was willing to sign an undertaking that she was not really raped. The Filipina answered, yes.

The employer came back and gave Clarita 4000 Philippine Pesos.

Employer: I know that your house is from Manila, please accept this amount that you can use to travel home.

Clarita: No no Baba, I wont accept that. That is too much.

Tom: Tanggapin mo yan.

Clarita: Thank you Baba. I wont forget you; everyone in your family is so good to me.

Few days later this was the news from Migrante, "Group Says Raped OFW Forced To Do A Retraction"

/story/98647/group-says-raped-ofw-forced-to-do-a-retraction

5. Again, I need your reaction to this Article

"Probe Case Of Jailed OFW Rape Victim In Saudi" - /pinoy-migration/09/17/09/probe-case-jailed-ofw-rape-victim-saudi

Note: The alleged rape victim and a Bangladeshi national were caught in the laboratory doing an immoral act. Neri claimed that she was raped even if all of their co-workers testified that Neri and the Bangladeshi had a relationship. It was later found out that the Neri was already four months pregnant when she was arrested for immorality case. Still, Neri insisted that she was raped.

6. Here is the latest rape news from Migrante, for your reaction

OFWs seek probe on abduction-rape of 4 RP nurses in Saudi

/story/202720/probe-sought-on-abduction-rape-of-4-rp-nurses-in-ksa

and here is the response from our Embassy:

No Verification Yet on Alleged Rape of 4 Filipina Nurses in Saudi - RP Embassy

/main/index.php/news-from-rp-embassies/1945-no-verification-yet-on-alleged-rape-of-4-filipina-nurses-in-saudi-rp-embassy

Drafted by:

Joseph Henry B. Espiritu

For Truth, Fairness and Justice,





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