Philippine VP requests autopsy on worker

Staff writer, with CNA, MANILA

Fri, Aug 02, 2013 - Page 4

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay has asked his country’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an autopsy on a 29-year-old Filipino worker who is said to have committed suicide, according to statement by Binay’s office.

Binay, who is also Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s adviser on migrant workers’ affairs, gave the directive after the worker’s family expressed doubts over the findings of Taiwanese authorities in late June that the man had hanged himself.

The family called on Binay to help look into the case, according to the statement. Binay said the Filipino worker was a mechanic from Makati, Manila, where Binay served as mayor for six terms and his son is now the incumbent.

According to Philippine media, the man’s mother on June 28 called the employment agency that had recruited him and told them that her son had been found hanging by the neck at about 7:35am on the ground floor of the company where he worked. The woman was told that her son had committed suicide, but Taiwanese police refused to disclose the names of the two workers who they said had found his body, the reports said.

An autopsy was conducted on July 20 in Taiwan, “but we were told it would take two months for the results to be known,” the man’s family was quoted as saying by Philippine media.

After a directive from Binay, the NBI carried out a second autopsy on Saturday after the brother and sister of the deceased flew to Taiwan to claim his body.

The NBI said that results will be available within two weeks. The man is survived by his pregnant wife and a seven-year-old son.

Binay’s office said it has helped the man’s family to apply for death subsidies. The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) also promised to help deal with the relevant government agencies in Taiwan. A MECO official said the tragedy occurred at a factory in Taoyuan.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s representative office in the Philippines said it would be willing to help if the Philippines made a request through a bilateral judicial channel.