DAVAO CITY - President Rodrigo Duterte met here Saturday with a Filipina maid who was doused with boiling water by her female employer in Saudi Arabia 4 years ago.
Pahima "Candies" Alagasi, the 26-year-old domestic worker who had suffered severed severe burns at the hands of her employer, returned home on Friday.
Duterte told Alagasi that he was happy about her homecoming, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go said in a Facebook post.
"Patuloy po nating tutulungan ang mga kababayan nating OFWs, in any way we can assist them, be it a legal matter or be it labor and employer-related," Go said.
"Like we have always been saying, the gates of Malacañang are always open and the ears of government officials will always listen to whatever problems our fellow Filipinos are experiencing."
Alagasi was only 22 years old when she dropped the lid of a thermos while preparing coffee for her employer. When she stooped to pick up the cap, her annoyed boss seized the thermos and poured all its boiling contents on her back.
The Filipina suffered second-degree burns on her neck, a large part of her back, and on her thighs. She reeled in pain unattended for 3 hours before her employer allowed her to seek treatment.
Alagasi ran away from her employer while getting treatment at a hospital and sought refuge at a shelter run by the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh.
She then filed a complaint against her employer, but it was dismissed by a Saudi court.
The employer later retaliated with an absconding case against Alagasi for fleeing and sought $66,000 in damages. The case was dismissed, but the employer elevated it to an appeals court.
Duterte had raised Alagasi's situation during a meeting with Saudi Prince and Interior Minister Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif in Malacañang in March.
Through the prince's intercession, Alagasi's case was dismissed and she was allowed to leave Riyadh.