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Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong

Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong
Fr. Cedric replaces Fr. Dong Marcaida. Have a happy, fruitful and blessed days with us all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why Iraq? (10)

by Edwin Corros

During the time that he was actually moved to Iraq, I did consult OWWA on how to go about my brother’s problem. A friend of mine from OWWA gave me the name of the Labor Attaché whome my brother consulted later. Nothing could be done about my brother’s transfer to Iraq from Dubai as Domeng had agreed to sign a document of such transfer.

His departure from Baghdad was not that simple though. To get out of Iraq, he needed to obtain an exit permit which was not easy for them to procure since the company had practically abandoned them. Due to the tough procedures that they had to undergo, one of his companions decided to remain in Baghdad and did not report back anymore to their company in Dubai. That means, he simply overstayed in Iraq.

On the very first attempt that they wanted to leave Iraq, they were not successful. They were not permitted to leave because the two of them did not have any exit permit. They were told earlier that an exit permit could also be obtained from the immigration office at the airport. Through the help the help of the Canadian colleague using his own connection in Baghdad, they were finally issued their exit permits only after the second visit to the immigration at the airport. After obtaining the needed exit permit, they were told that there was no seat on the plane for them… To get a seat in war torn countries among commercial flights was extremely difficult, besides they were in an emergency situation. The worst part of not being able to leave the country on those times was to move from the airport to the US military base or back to the airport again. Each time they needed to go to the airport, a convoy of military escorts was requested to accompany them, as ambushes and kidnappings were common occurences. They had to goback to the US military base as no one could stay inside the airport as it closes at five in the evening. And no one was allowed to saty around the premises too for security reasons, besides the cold winter temperature goes down further as night descends.

Finally, my brother landed safely back in Dubai. On his arrival in Dubai, he was treated well by the company. His salary for over seven months was given without any hassle including his annual bonus. The company allowed him to take a rest for two days. While taking his rest, he gave me a call informing us that he arrived in dubai safely. However, he told us that he was very anxious as well to talk to the company manager about their attitude towards them while in Iraq. He told me that he wanted to confront their company concerning their lack of concern for them while they were in Baghdad. My brother felt that they were practically abandoned by their company when they had repeatedly sought help to be repatriated to Dubai when their visa were about to expire. He believed that being in a war torn country, a war damage claims could also be demanded, the fact that he had undergone much emotional sufferings. He was aware that his contract has a provision on a war damage claim.

Subsequently, he went to the personnel manager
… to be continued

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