x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Expat Filipino found hanged in plane

A Filipino who worked in the capital and asked his embassy for help to return home has been found dead inside the lavatory of a Gulf Air plane in Manila.

ABU DHABI // A Filipino who worked in the capital and asked his embassy for help to return home was found dead inside the lavatory of a Gulf Air plane in Manila yesterday.

Officials at the Philippines embassy identified the man found at Ninoy Aquino International Airport as Marlon Cueva, 36, from Mariveles, Bataan, 56km north of Manila.

Grace Princesa, the Philippine ambassador to the UAE, said yesterday: "I just met him at the embassy last Friday. He appeared depressed and even said that someone wanted to kill him. I hugged him and assured him that he was safe at the embassy."

Ms Princesa said she was "saddened" by news of Cueva's death and called it "an example of the social cost of migration".

"Apparently, there's a limit to how much people can take," she said.

Cueva arrived in the capital in July and worked for three months as an electrician for a contracting company, said Ophelia Almenario, the welfare officer in Abu Dhabi. Cueva went to the embassy last Thursday to ask for help from officials to retrieve his passport.

"We asked him if he tendered his resignation and served his one-month notice period with his company and he answered in the affirmative," she said.

"On Saturday, he went to the company with his nephew to get his passport back."

On Tuesday, the embassy assisted Cueva in his airline booking and took him to the airport, where a company representative handed over his passport.

"He was OK and didn't show signs that he was unstable, otherwise we wouldn't have allowed him to board his flight," Ms Almenario said.

"We even requested our counterpart in Bahrain to assist him at the airport before boarding another flight to Manila."

Cueva boarded a Gulf Air flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport on Tuesday night. After a two-hour stopover in Bahrain, he boarded another Gulf Air flight scheduled to arrive at 11.15am Manila time.

According to Philippine media reports, a flight steward found Cueva's body inside the lavatory at the tail end of the plane when he was doing a routine check shortly after the flight landed. A nurse tried and failed to revive him.

Officials said Cueva had a history of moving from one job to another. Before a previous stint as an electrician in Abu Dhabi in May 2008, he worked in Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Qatar. He worked in Saudi Arabia again before arriving in the UAE in July.

Ms Almenario said: "I can't believe he's gone." efore he left for the airport, I even told him to put on a jacket so he'll feel comfortable during his flight."

Philippine police have launched an investigation.