Friday, October 31, 2008

December 13, 2007

Pinoy worker in Jeddah ends life over money woes
12/13/2007 06:32 PM

A Filipino air conditioning technician in Jeddah died Wednesday in an apparent suicide, leaving behind two children aged 6 and 3 years old and his pregnant wife.

Marlon Martinez, who would mark his 30th birthday this month, was declared dead on arrival at the Dr. Erfan & Bagedo Hospital in Faisaliyah District at past 1 a.m., several minutes after he was found hanging in their apartment unit by his wife, Elenita.In an interview, Elenita, who works as a respiratory therapist at the same hospital, said her husband spent Tuesday night at his company’s accommodation because he wanted to be alone and think about their financial problems.

"I remember he was coming back and forth in our room, like he was thinking of something, then he also told me to put our kids to sleep, and lock the door," Elenita said.Both husband and wife hail from Barangay Tagbakin in Atimonan, Quezon province.“I was wondering about his confusing behavior that night. I was about to sleep when I heard a loud noise, like something fell in our sala, so I immediately went out of the room to find him already hanging at the sala," she added.“At first I thought he was just joking and it was like he was just standing because the roof is about almost two meters high only and he was 5 feet 10 inches tall so I told him not to play a joke on me like that," the wife further recalled.

But when she opened the lights, Elenita said she saw her husband already hanging lifeless. “I panicked and immediately held and pushed him up for a while to loosen the nylon cord tied around his neck," she said in between sobs.She then run to the kitchen and got a bread knife to cut the cord before calling out their neighbors for help.

Elenita said her husband appeared to be suffering from depression over financial problems since December last year when he was terminated from work by his previous employer."He was so worried that he was not working and I have become the breadwinner of the family. He kept telling me he was so sorry that he was not earning enough and that we were still unable to repay our debts," she narrated.Marlon sued his employer with the Saudi Labor Office for illegal termination of his contract.

The employer settled to release him to another employer in exchange for SR3,000.“We paid that amount because Balubaid was willing to hire my husband. However, the sponsor did not comply with his commitment and my husband felt so bad about the double injury inflicted on him," Elenita said in Pilipino.

As a result of the original sponsor’s alleged perfidy, Martinez had to leave the Kingdom in July and returned on Sept. 26 under the sponsorship of Balubaid.“Even then, he was always worried about our getting stuck in debt. I kept assuring him that we will soon recover but he was always worried," Elenita said.

Beth Renole, a family friend of the couple, said what Elenita did not know was that Martinez’s problems were aggravated by the denial of his loan application from his company for the hospitalization of his mother in the Philippines. “He was keeping his problems to himself because he did not want to compound the worries of his wife," Renole said in a separate interview. A nanny for the Martinez’s kids, who gave her name only as Tita Glo, said she also noticed that Martinez was always depressed. - Ronaldo Concha, GMANews.TV

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