Press Release
February 1, 2016

Villar provides assistance to kin of executed OFW

The family of executed overseas Filipino worker Joselito Zapanta is one of the recipients of livelihood assistance from Sen. Cynthia Villar and the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance).

On Monday, Zapanta's parents, Jesus and Mona Zapanta, went to the Senate to receive the sari-sari store starter package from Villar.

"It is a sad reality that many of our OFWs experience misfortune abroad. When subjected to abuse, there are those who chose to suffer in silence. Some OFWs chose to fight back and ended up in jail," Villar said.

"We hope this livelihood assistance will go a long way in helping the family cope with the loss of their breadwinner," the senator added.

Zapanta, 35, was executed in Saudi Arabia last December 29, 2015 for the murder of his Sudanese landlord, Imam Salah Ibrahim, over a rental dispute. After he was sentenced to death by the Riyadh Grand Court in April 2010, Zapanta's family and the Philippine government tried to raise P43 million as blood money to save Zapanta from execution.

Villar also expressed hope that Joselito's fate may serve as a reminder to OFWs that foreign lands have harsher penalties for crimes and to always obey the laws of their host countries.

Also granted with the livelihood assistance is OFW Susan Asis, 44 years old from Taguig. Asis was repatriated after suffering physical abuse from her employer in Saudi Arabia. She was denied food and was locked up in her quarters. Asis is married to a tricycle driver with six children.

Frelyn Aboy, 32 years old, from Negros Oriental also received livelihood assistance from Villar. The single parent of a sickly 3-year-old daughter was deployed on Sept. 20, 2015 to Saudi Arabia. She was regularly beaten, was denied her salary, accused of theft and was also raped. She was stranded at the Social Welfare facility in Jawazat and reported to have attempted to commit suicide because of hopelessness.

Aside from the sari-sari store package, Aboy was also referred to Las Pinas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center for proper medical intervention.

Rhodel Jayson Barrera, Jr., 43 years old from Dipolog City also received assistance from Villar. Married with two children, Barrera worked as an encoder/clerk in Al Khobar, KSA but went home last May 2015 because of diabetes.

Upon his arrival in the country, Barrera sought medical check-up, diagnosis and operation at the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center in Manila last June 9, 2015. He was prescribed with expensive medications that unfortunately drained his savings abroad and made him penniless.

Barrera was awarded with three months' supply of Gliclazide Oral Hypoglycemic from Dr. Rosary Ann Oca of Las Pinas City Health Office and financial assistance from Senators Manny and Cynthia Villar for him to be able to go home to his family in the province.

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