Members of the Filipino community across Canada expressed grief and outrage over the death of another Filipina live-in caregiver Jocelyn Dulnuan, 27 years old, saying that the “murder” is not an “isolated case.”
BY AUBREY SC MAKILAN
Vol. VII, No. 35, October 7-13, 2007
Members of the Filipino community across Canada expressed grief and outrage over the death of a 27-year-old Filipina live-in caregiver Jocelyn Dulnuan, saying it was not an “isolated case.”
Based on media reports, Dulnuan’s body was found on Oct. 1 on the premises of Doulton Place mansion where she worked as a live-in caregiver. According to the National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC), Dulnuan entered Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) and worked under various employers in the Greater Toronto Area before working at the Doulton Place mansion.
In a statement by NAPWC, it said that Peel Homicide Inspector Norman English refused to disclose details of the overseas Filipino worker’s death and only told Doulton Place homeowners that the killing was an “isolated case.”
Dulnuan, a native of Namulditan, Hingyon, Ifugao, received her post-secondary education from the University of Baguio in the Philippines. She graduated with a degree in Criminology.
In desire to help support her family, she first worked as a domestic helper in Hong Kong before moving to Canada last November. Waiting for her back home in her mountain village were her three year-old daughter and fiancé.
Violence against women
NAPWC executive director Cecili Diocson said Dulnuan’s killing is an issue of “violence committed against Filipino women under the LCP and is not by any means an isolated incident.”
“The murder of Jocelyn is another wake-up call to all women in Canada to genuinely examine the issue of violence against women, particularly inherent in Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s LCP,” said Diocosn.
The group reported that about 100, 000 women from the Philippines have entered Canada under the LCP since the early 1980s. In fact, it noted that 97 percent of all live-in caregivers in Canada are said to be from the Philippines. Under this program, the group said that Filipino women are allegedly forced to live in the homes of their employers for a 24-month period to perform domestic and caregiving work.
The NAPWC calls the LCP “racist and anti-woman” and “perpetuates a cycle of poverty, debt, isolation, and vulnerability to physical, sexual, and verbal abuse.”
Kelly Botengan, spokesperson of SIKLAB-Ontario (Sulong Itaguyod Karapatan ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino sa Labas ng Bansa or Advance and Uphold the Rights and Welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers and their Families) said, “the Philippine government can no longer deny that the LCP continues to claim and destroy the lives of countless Filipinos who dream of creating a better life for themselves and their families back home.”
Botengan said that Dulnuan’s death “attests to the chronic de-skilling of Filipino professionals” in Canada. “It is appalling that Filipinos are among the most highly-educated immigrants in Canada and yet they are streamed into the lowest paying jobs.”
Address the issue
As the Filipino community grieve the death of another OFW under the LCP, Botengan urges both the Philippine and Canadian governments to seriously address and investigate Dulnuan’s death and bring justice to her and her family.
“We hold the Arroyo regime accountable for each death of an overseas Filipino worker,” she said, noting that Philippine government must address the plight of OFWs in foreign countries like Canada.
“We cannot allow the murder of Jocelyn Dulnuan to fade from memory as numerous others have before her,” said Diocson. “The intolerable violence committed against Jocelyn urges us to continue the fight to stop violence against our women and to scrap the anti-woman and racist Live-in Caregiver Program which gives the majority of our women no other choice but to enter Canada as modern-day slaves.”