by Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star), 11 Oct 2020
MANILA, Philippines — A Malaysian court has convicted the former employers of a Filipino for violation of the country’s anti-trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants law, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.
The Sessions Court in Malaysia reversed the initial acquittal of the Malaysian couple and sentenced them to 10 to 12 years in prison for the offense.
They were also ordered to pay the Filipina victim 20,000 ringgit or around P232,900.
“The conviction is a big win for us during this pandemic and is the first victory for a Filipina in Malaysia,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said.
According to the DFA, the Malaysian couple took advantage of the Filipina after she escaped a rape attempt from her first employer.
She escaped from the couple after they subjected her to cruel and abusive acts. A Filipino couple found her in an abandoned lot and brought her to the Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
After a series of police investigations, her case was classified as a violation of the anti-trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants law.
She was repatriated in 2018 after testifying on the criminal case filed before the Magistrate Court, which dismissed the case.
The appeal was subsequently filed and granted by the Sessions Court of Malaysia.
Last year, the DFA also helped the Filipina fly back to Malaysia to file a civil case against her former employers.
The DFA said it utilized its legal assistance fund to provide a lawyer for her case and pay for the bond or security cost in the civil action, which remains pending.