SAN LUIS -- About nine days after the upload of the Kapampangan overseas Filipino worker's (OFW) video on social media sites where he sought help from the government for his desire to return home, Gabino Taruc was finally released by his employer and is back in their home in Sta. Monica village here.
Taruc, who was earlier reported to have been confined at the Al Zhulfi General Hospital in Riyadh, was finally relieved after seeing his family when he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 12:00 midnight on June 8.
"Nakahinga na kami ng maluwag kasi nagkita na kami. At least alam namin ngayon na andito na siya," said Taruc's mother Filomena.
Taruc confirmed the allegations about his traumatic experience there with his Indian and Filipino co-worker.
"Pagdating ko dun, pinag pakain agad ako ng mga animals, mga kalapati at hamster. Lahat ng klase nandun. Tapos pinagbuhat at pinaghukay," he said.
But he asserted that his Arabian employer treated him well and even paid his hospital bills for one week after he was brought and confined there due to extreme weakness.
However, he also substantiated how he his co-workers "tortured him emotionally" in his stay there.
"Yung Indian parati niya akong sinasabihan na wala akong utak. Yung Filipino naman, imbes na akala ko siya ang tutulong sa akin, siya pa ang nagpahirap. Sabi niya sakin 'Nagkalat ka pa ng kahihiyan dun 'no? Mas lalo ka nang di makakauwi niyan'," he shared.
"Pati yung kapatid ng boss ko, nung isang araw sabi sa akin kapag hindi raw ako nagtrabaho, magdadala daw siya ng pulis at ipapakulong ako," he added.
According to Taruc, their accommodation there was also inhabitable, saying "mga tent lang tulugan namin. Tapos naliligo lang kami dun sa parang balon na maliit."
"Yung sweldo ko for one month at one week, di ko rin talaga nakuha," he said.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Central Luzon officer-in-charge for Programs and Services Division Mamerto Mercado III told him Tuesday about his rights as an abused OFW and advised him to file a formal complaint against his agency, M.M.I.
"Dapat siyang magfile ng complaint sa OWWA para maipatawag namin yung agency niya. Dadaan muna yan sa amicable settlement and we will see if masa-satisfy si Mr. Taruc sa offer nila. If not, aakyat na yan sa LRC," he said.
"Kahit wala silang kinalaman sa pagkaka hospital ni Taruc, mali pa din sila dahil hindi nila sinunod yung work na indicated sa kontrata nila," he said.
Taruc signed a contract to work as a flower arranger in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia but was assigned to feed animals and dig deep holes when he arrived there.
Pampanga Action Center for Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns (PACOC) head Maria Eliza Rey Muñoz, for their part, also affirmed the assistance they will give to the depressed kabalen, after being instructed by Governor Lilia Pineda to assess the needs of Taruc.
"We will give him medical assistance based on the medical result. Kailangan kasi niyang magpa second opinion," she said.
Taruc was earlier reported to be diagnosed with heart problem but operation is not necessary according to his medical report.
He said he was grateful for all the help he got after he uploaded his video and for the immediate action of media and the local government. He also disclosed that there are many Filipinos and kabalens that are also suffering in the foreign land.
Taruc is set to file a formal complaint against his agency that allegedly deceived him.