SAN AGUSTIN, Isabela -- A Filipino domestic helper in the United Arab Emirates who was jailed for killing her employer after he tried to rape her in 1999 received a hero’s welcome from her townmates here on Wednesday.
Visibly tired from the 10-hour trip from Manila, Maryjane Ramos, 23, smiled, waved and shook hands with some 5,000 Isabela folk who trooped to the municipal auditorium here to welcome the
"idol of the OFWs.’’
She cried when she saw residents and students carrying placards with
"Bayani Ka, Maryjane’’ printed on them.
"Thank you all. God will provide for you,’’ said Ramos, a native of Sitio San Juan, a town about near Barangay Masaya Centro here.
Ramos was jailed for two years and seven months in the Mamoorah Central Jail in the UAE for killing Mohammad Al-Shamsi who tried to rape her on Jan. 22, 1999.
She thanked government officials, businessmen and members of civic groups who helped raise 150,000 dirhams or 2.3 million pesos in exchange for her freedom.
Ramos, however, has yet to decide whether to undergo counseling at the local social welfare department and training for livelihood opportunities.
"I will take a rest for a few days at our sitio in San Juan. I will decide later on what to do so I (could provide for my child’s needs),’’ she told the INQUIRER.
Coy Belardo, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-central office executive assistant, said she asked the local social welfare office to conduct psycho-social counseling on Ramos.
She said the agency would also give financial assistance and scholarship to Ramos’ son, John Mar, and employment training to her husband Johnny.
San Agustin Mayor Virgilio Padilla promised to hire Ramos as a casual worker at the municipal government if she likes to stay in her town for good.
"I will take good care of my son. I will never go abroad again to work,’’ Ramos said.
Inquirer News Service, Manila.