21 Feb 2006

Maid's kin suspect foul play in Singapore death

First posted 09:18pm (Mla time) Feb 20, 2006

CAUAYAN CITY--THE DREAM OF overseas Filipino worker Haidee de la Calzada was to build a decent house for her eight brothers and sisters and to help finance their schooling.

But that's gone now.

Haidee, 28, the third youngest among nine children of Raymundo and Susana de la Calzada, returned to Marabulig Dos here in a coffin on Feb. 11 after she reportedly committed suicide by jumping from the eighth floor of her employer's condominium in Singapore.

She was only on her fourth day of her two-year contract when she died. Her parents and relatives could not believe she committed suicide.

"It is impossible that her head is intact and she has no fractures, except for bruises and contusions [apparently inflicted by somebody]," her father Raymundo said. Her uncle, Francisco Ibujo, said there were "glaring inconsistencies" in the reports on her death from the Singaporean and Philippine embassies.

He asked the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the case. A few hours before her alleged suicide, Haidee sent text messages to her relatives in Cauayan City, reporting some "suspicious acts and advances" by her male employer, it was learned.

Some of the text messages, according to her relatives, included: "I found his actions strange. He tried to give me money but I refused."

She added: "Sorry, I panicked. My employer explained his side."

"I escaped. I didn't like to go back to my employer. He had evil motives against me."

Her sister, Lenny, said Haidee had reported that her employer "used psychological, mental, physical, and emotional methods of harassing her."

She said her sister's mobile phone went off after sending the text messages. A few hours later, a call from the Philippine Embassy said Haidee committed suicide. Manuela Pe–a, regional manager of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Cagayan Valley, said the victim's family would be given financial help.

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