Tragedy struck the family of Romeo Librada, better known as Super Tekla, before 2017 ended. The lifeless body of his sister, Marife aka Baby, who was based in Kuwait for three years as an OFW, was found hanging in her room on December 29 last year.
On the same day, Super Tekla posted on his Facebook account appealing to the Embassy in Kuwait and the Philippine government to help investigate his sister’s death.
“Ngayon po kung talaga naman pong siya po’y nagpakamatay…tatanggapin po namin ‘yon, pero kailangan po namin na matulungan kami ng ating embassy at ng ating gobyerno para po matingnan at mabigyan ng agarang aksyon ang pagkamatay ng kapatid ko sa Kuwait,” he said on his Facebook video.
Suicide is not uncommon among OFWs. Data gathered by the program “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” shows that apart from feeling intense loneliness, some OFWs also suffer from suicidal thoughts. Inhumane treatment and cruelty they experience often at the hands of their employers are contributing factors.
According to Baby’s coworkers, she showed signs of depression and even expressed the desire to commit suicide.
But Super Tekla has expressed doubts over the death of his sister and has appealed to authorities to find out if Baby indeed committed suicide or was simply a victim of foul play, which he said commonly happens to OFWs.
In the meantime, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Overseas Workers Welfare Association have already issued a reminder for OFWs and their families: if they’re feeling unusually down – or can sense that their loved ones or colleagues are feeling depressed– the embassies of the Philippines across the globe are always open and ready to assist.