Pinoy falls from Jeddah building while fleeing rape attempt
Ronaldo Concha, GMANews.TV
07/10/2008 12:53 PM
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — A 26-year-old Filipino worker sustained injuries after he fell from the 3rd floor of a building in Jeddah while escaping from an alleged rape attempt by an Arab man, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said on Thursday.
Victim Eduardo Valerio, who is from Cabiao town in the northern province of Nueva Ecija, said the suspect was a customer of Bindawood Superstores in Jeddah where he worked as a “shelf boy."As narrated by Valerio to the OWWA office at the Philippine Consulate General and to GMANews.TV, he was on his way home after work at about 2 a.m. last week when the unnamed customer pleaded for help in bringing the goods he bought to his apartment unit nearby.Since the man’s apartment was not that far, Valerio agreed to accompany him only until the building gate.
The man, however, pleaded again for the victim to accompany him until his apartment unit on the third floor. Once inside the apartment, the man closed the door and tried to corner him. A scared Valerio fled toward an open door leading to the balcony but the man followed him. In his panic, he said, he attempted to climbed down to the second floor, but he lost his balance and fell to the ground. "Himala na nabuhay pa ako.
Hindi ko alam kung paano ako nakabalik sa aming tindahan at maisumbong ang nangyari sa akin (It’s a miracle that I am still alive. I don’t even know how I managed to return to our store," Valerio said.
A Filipino nurse at a nearby hospital where Valerio was brought quoted doctors as saying it might take at least three months for the victim to recover from injuries to his spinal cord.
Although his injuries were not that serious, a brace was needed so that he could move. A store supervisor at Bindawood Superstores said police have arrested and jailed the suspect, whose name was not provided to media.
The source said the suspect’s mother visited the store and sought to settle the case amicably but Valerio said he could not make a decision right away."Hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ko. Ang hirap nang kalagayan ko. Hindi ako makakilos nang maayos at wala pa akong trabaho at nag iisa lang ako sa accommodation (I don’t know what to do.
I’m in a bind because I still can’t move and I will be jobless for some time. Besides, I am all alone in my apartment)," he said.OWWA Welfare Officer Romeo Pablo said the good thing is that the victim is covered by the OWWA’s medical insurance. He also asked the employer to look into Valerio’s needs. GMANews.TV