PhilEmb should take Bashir Ayob into their custody


PhilEmb should take  Welfare Officer Bashir Ayob into their custody pending investigation on his case by Saudi authorities.

Bashir Ayob is an acquaintance way back  2007 and as a Filipino community leader whenever I asked for a status about Filipina runaways in the custody of Bahay Kalinga, he was always available in the other line every time I called.

WelOf Bashir Ayob (wearing black t-shirt) next to WelOf Umag during our visit to Bahay Kalinga distributing goods for our Female distressed OFWS.

Mr. Bashir Ayob is a welfare officer assisting overseas Filipino workers in distress in Saudi Arabia particularly in Riyadh. He is assigned at Bahay Kalinga as officer in-charge whose job includes follow up status of cases of our Filipina distressed OFWs at the Saudi Welfare Administration or SWA, a   female deportation shelter run by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Bashir as well is  the only one allowed to handle the processing of exit visas for those Filipina distressed OFWs finally scheduled to leave the Kingdom.

[If an undocumented Filipina worker is caught by the Saudi authorities, she will be sent to SWA where she will stay for 60 days or more, depending on her case and cooperation of her employers. If Philippine mission in KSA was the one who first found the Filipina worker in distressed, she will be in the custody of Bahay Kalinga until such time that distressed OFW will be forwarded or transferred  to SWA for deportation schedule.]

Now my friend Bashir is needing an urgent help not only from the Government that he served for 17 years (1993 with POLO/OWWA) but also to Filipino Community leaders who knows him well as an OFW servant  who is always there in time they need information and whereabouts of Filipina runaways.

Bashir started to work in 1980 as a contractual employee with our Philippine Embassy.

Bashir on June 12 while performing his duty at the Deportation office (SSWA) to process an exit visa for a Filipina cancer patient, he was arrested and held incommunicado up to this writing without any charges.

It was later known that he was arrested over the death of a woman on May 22, 2010 on which his name was mentioned as the one who brought a pregnant woman believed died of massive bleeding.  But according to Al Shumeissy Hospital the husband was the one who brought the bleeding pregnant woman at the hospital. However, there was no record that could prove it was not Bashir but the husband brought the woman to the mentioned hospital.

Janet the wife of Bashir cries for help and believed that his husband is a fall guy and alleges that powerful Saudi officials are behind his continued detention even in the absence of formal charges against him. Janet, a 39-year-old nurse, joined Bashir in Riyadh in 2003. They have a five-year-old son.

Upon hearing, the ordeal of our friend Bashir Ayob, the OFW Congress-Riyadh is requesting our Philippine Embassy to exert their best effort to take custody of Bashir pending the outcome of the investigation. So with the OUMWA (Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs) to immediately release the SR 50,000 needed for attorney’s fees.

Many of our less unfortunate Filipina runaways and distressed OFWs, to proved (3) three of them were fellow town mates of this blogger are now in the Philippines. Bashir Ayob facilitated the immediate processing of their deportation documents. In relation to this, I personally appeal to our government especially to our dear President Noynoy Aquino for the immediate release of the legal assistance fund under Section 18, Section No. 25 of Republic Act. 8042, as amended in order to provide the necessary lawyer in defense to the case of Welfare Officer Bashir Ayob.

The last time I talked with Bashir was last January when I inquire about the status of my runaway townmate (Filipina Domestic Helper now in Manila) who was maltreated and abused by her employer.  He was happy at that time informing me that he  might be posted soon in Dubai, unfortunately he was now posted at Deraa Police Station behind bars.

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5 thoughts on “PhilEmb should take Bashir Ayob into their custody

  1. Welcome Back Basheer! On this joyous occasion in your life, seize the day, enjoy the coming days with your family & friends, grasp your freedom with both hands. Ang lahat ng iyong dinanas ay isang pagsubok lamang. Remember brod that the good Lord (Allah) is always holding your hand. Marami kang natutulongan at marami ka pang matutulongan sa aming hanay and on behalf of those OFWs who benefited from your help – MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO! Again, Welcome back!

  2. RP Post Welfare Officer Still Detained in Saudi Jail; Migrant Rights Group Calls Anew for his Immediate Release (PR)

    Published on August 23, 2010

    More than 2 months from his arrest on 12 June 2010, the welfare officer of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh is still detained in Deira Jail, Riyadh and pleading hard for his immediate release.

    Welfare officer Bashir Ayob, 47 years old from Takurong, Sultan Kudarat, was arrested on 12 June while he is attending the repatriation formalities of distress OFWs. He is accused and a primary suspect for rushing into a Saudi hospital an OFW woman while she is about to give birth but unfortunately died.

    Welof Ayob has been working at the Philippine Embassy since 2006 who was then designated as Officer-In-Charge of the Embassy’s Bahay Kalinga.

    According to the reports, on 22 May at around 3:40 p.m. an unidentified OFW woman was rushed to the Shemesy Hospital in Riyadh by an OFW who was not identified; the OFW woman died.

    Usually seen assisting sick OFWs at the Shemesy hospital for check-up almost every day, Welof Ayob then became the suspect.

    On 10 June, he was invited by the Saudi police for questioning about the said incident but was later cleared.

    Two days after, he was arrested while attending the repatriation formalities of distress OFWs at the immigration office in Riyadh.

    His wife, Bing Ayob who is an OFW nurse based in Riyadh, first appealed to the Philippine Embassy for assistance seeking for his immediate release from prison as he is innocent of the crime charged against him.

    The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) made a public pronouncement that it will be extending assistance to Welof Ayob by hiring a local lawyer for his defense.

    Migrant-Middle East, an alliance of Filipino migrant rights group, urged the Philippine Embassy-Assistance to the Nationals Section (ANS) to arrange Welof Ayob released by placing him under its custody.

    “More than 2 months now since his detention, the RP post didn’t even bother to issue a certification that Welof Ayob is not the person who abandoned the OFW who died at the Shemesy hospital, and then arrange to place him under the embassy’s custody,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

    Monterona said Welof Ayob’s continued detention is greatly affecting the numerous welfare cases he is to attend. “Now there are about 120 distress OFWs staying at the Bahay Kalinga, which unlike before under Welof Ayob’s care and guidance there are only about 40 distress OFWs at Bahay Kalinga,” Monterona added.

    Monterona deplores the RP post slow action, if there is any, and post indecisiveness attending on Welof Ayob’s case. “His immediate release must be given top priority by the RP post as he is contributing a lot in attending distress OFWs cases, while other inept officials are merely sitting inside their air-conditioned offices at the Philippine embassy; these inept embassy officials deserve to be in jail, not Welof Ayob,” Monterona ended.

  3. Dear Bong,

    Greetings.

    Learning the plight of another Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia made me think and cant help but asked a lot of questions such as: it is quite ironic for an officer like Bashir to experience the same plight of the women who are in his custody at the Bahay Kalinga. After hearing the case of Bashir, i begun to feel an irk in my veins and slowly think of the safety of my husband who is presently working in Saudi as driver . For our embassy officials who remain to be mum on the case of Bashir, what assurance can we get from them in providing protection to my husband who has no connection and just working as a plain driver? the case of Bashir is a big slapped in the face of our officials in the embassy for the fact that all of these things happened right on tip of their nose, how much more to a plain driver like my husband. Will our envoy do something about this? not im saying that Bashir is not quilty of the offense, at this point, Bashir is still consider innocent until proven quilty.

    Im sure a lot of your readers will react by saying that this is not in the case of the Saudi law. Agree, but if this things will be tolerated and be allowed by our foreign envoys there again, i should say that our OFWs are truly “bagong bayani”, because, our known heroes were convicted without fair trial.

    sa ating magigiting na ambasador at mga labor attache, its about time for you to pay back our ofws for their remittances. Bashir is a good example, do something about his plight before we totally lose our trust in you.

    Maraming salamat kuya Bong. Mabuhay ka at ang mga katulad mong leader. Mag-ingat din po kayo.

    the story of Bashir which you shared with us few inutes ago

    • It is a shame really on the part of our government agencies not to do something for their own employees! i agree that bashir ayob MUST be in your custody while there is no formal charge filed against him.

      Sir may i confirm this hearsay which is echoing in our work place. Is it true that when we exit from our eplmoyer, we need to wait after one year to enter saudi arabia again and work for another employer? we decide not to recontract so please answer before we make our final decision. by the way i asked my friend who works in an agency in the philippines and her response is ‘yes that is the new rule especially pag na finger print ka na”.

      Thank you very much and I congratulate your courageous effort to help our kababayans.

      • Dear Dian,

        Thank you for your comment.

        The point is – if they can not provide help at least by having Bashir in their custody considering that he is a holder of an official embassy passport and his sponsor is no other than our Philippine Embassy, how much more if the one asking for help is an ordinary OFWs like us? Just what Crystal says: what assurance can we get from them in providing protection to my husband who has no connection and just working as a plain driver?

        Yes, we can’t deny that the criminal system or law in the procedure of handling suspect in KSA is very different from our legal system, yet suspects are still consider not guilty until proven otherwise. What we need here is a Philippine mission with power and iron hand that can protect the right of their nationals.

        It is also about time for our national government, the Aquino administration and our legislators to craft up solutions in this issue, probably to come up a bilateral agreement that will give the mission an essential function which is to provide assistance to their nationals/citizens who are detained by a foreign government more particularly in KSA, in order to ensure that they receive a fair and speedy trial with benefit of competent counsel as per proviso provided in the Magna Carta for Migrant Workers; visiting them in prison to ensure that they are receiving humane treatment and facilitating communications with their families. More importantly to grant the mission to communicate with the detainee.

        Regarding your inquiry, a famous Saudi lawyer in his Arab News column, the “Law and You” adviced his readers that if an expat exits the Kingdom, an NOC is required for you to enter back again in the Kingdom otherwise without an NOC a foreign worker can return the Kingdom after one year to work for another employer. However, please note that issuance of an NOC is a sole discretion of your employer. It means, it is the decision of the employer to give NOC or not.

        Again, thanks for dropping by.

        Regards.

        Bong

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