25 September 2013

has your maid absconded? (part 1)

Obviously, ours has, otherwise I wouldn't be posting this.  And here’s how it happened...

Last Monday, Hubby and I went to the Immigration Department to cancel Juliet’s visa. After almost 7 months, we had had enough of her attitude, forgetfulness, and plain stupidity to put up with her any longer. She may have been hardworking, but she was not someone we could rely on to take full care of our children while we were at work. So as I was saying, we cancelled her visa and we informed her that she would be flying back to the Philippines on Friday night.

As you can expect, Juliet was upset and shocked at our sudden decision. However, since she had told us more than a month ago that she wanted to quit (she stayed because we asked her to and we told her that if she really wanted to leave, she would have to return to us half of the money we had spent for her visas and ticket to enter the country), we thought that she’d be relieved at least.

Yesterday morning on my way to work, I received a call from Mama saying that it seemed Juliet had run away. Only her (packed and locked) suitcase and a bag of laundry was left of her stuff. She didn’t tell Mama that she was going out or anything. Mama just suddenly noticed that she wasn’t in the apartment and that most of her things were gone. I immediately informed Hubby, and then I tried to call Juliet’s number. It was switched off. After several tries throughout the morning, it finally rang. She answered but she didn’t say anything, just listened. I started talking, telling her that she needed to go back to the apartment. She ended the call. I called again, but it just kept ringing. And then after a few more tries, the phone was switched off. Several minutes later, I called and it rang. Again she answered without saying anything. I was really angry by then so I practically shouted at her and threatened her that if she didn’t return, we would go to the police, Immigration and the Philippine Consulate to report what she did. After my outburst, she ended the call. Instead of calling her back, I just sent her an SMS repeating what I just told her.

After that, I called Juliet’s sister in the Philippines. She had no idea that we had cancelled Juliet’s visa nor had they spoken recently. Naturally, she was shocked, disappointed and embarrassed when I told her what her sister did. She kept apologizing on her sister’s behalf. Even after the call, she sent me a very long SMS to apologize, and practically begging me not to hurt her sister if she returns. I assured her that we wouldn’t, and we would let her know if Juliet did go back to the apartment.

Sometime later, Hubby called. He said that all the people he spoke with advised him to report what happened to the authorities to clear his name. We may have cancelled her visa already, but if she’s still in the country and if something happens to her or if she gets caught doing anything illegal, Juliet is still his responsibility because he is her sponsor. He immediately went home to get her documents, and went to the Police, the POLO-OWWA office, and the Ministry of Labour. It was at the MOL where someone told him that since her visa was already cancelled, he had to go to Immigration. Hubby was already getting agitated at the situation and having to go to all these offices. Fortunately, when I explained the situation to my manager, he quickly understood and let me leave work early. So at 2:45pm, Hubby and I were on our way to the Immigration Department. On the way, he told me that he had called a couple of Juliet’s friends (numbers that we got from her mobile phone). All of them denied speaking to her and/or seeing her recently. Not at all convinced that they were telling the truth, he made sure they knew we were going to report her as absconding, and if caught, the person or people who helped her would be liable and charged accordingly.

Upon arriving at Immigration, we went to one of the typing centres, explained what happened, and gave them what they needed. After a while, they gave me the paper with the attachments and pointed where we needed to go.  We went to the hall, gave the documents to the officer, paid some money, and handed over our absonding maid's passport.  As soon as we left DNRD, we both let out sighs of relief, knowing that in spite of everything, our family was safe and our names were cleared if anything happens to the lady we hired from Minalin, Pampanga.

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