Last November, a Filipino taxi driver was taken by Kuwaiti cops for questioning after it was discovered that he helped a Filipina domestic helper escape from her employers, taking her to the embassy. As taxi driver, he took her payment for fare.
This was not the first time he helped someone escape but he is now in trouble with the law because the bilateral agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait prevents anyone from ‘rescuing’ or taking someone from his/her employer. Should there be trouble, Kuwait wanted sovereign authority and its officials should have been the ones called via the hotline.
Jelmar Fuentes, who goes by the handle ‘DAVE’ on Facebook, has been saving a lot of Filipina domestic helpers who were getting maltreated by their employers.
Through Facebook, they would plan how the Pinay would escape, where and when he would pick her up, and then he would take her to safety to the embassy or Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
This has worked well for a number of times and the taxi driver was paid for his services. Considering the many reports of Filipinas getting ‘lost’ in the hands of their employers in Kuwait, Fuentes felt that he was saving many lives, many kababayans.
He knew the agreement between the two countries but felt that helping the Pinays escape was all for a good cause.
When he was invited by the Kuwaiti cops for questioning, he readily complied; he thought he would receive due process and that the matter will be handled well. But as of press time, he has not been released from jail.
On December 15, the taxi driver penned a letter which has been shared on social media. In this handwritten post, the driver sought the help of ‘Idol’ Raffy Tulfo. He called on the broadcaster to help bring his predicament to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte so he could get out of jail.
He’s been there since November 28 and experienced his worst nightmares. He hopes he could find help soon, especially because he had done nothing wrong but help someone in need.