DUBAI // The body of a murdered Filipina will be sent home today, more than three months after her death. Emma Angos Cambalon, a 35-year-old married mother of four, was found strangled near a villa behind Al Bustan Centre in Al Tawar on March 26. ER, a 43-year-old Filipino said to be her boyfriend, originally identified as EG, has been arrested. Mrs Cambalon, a former housemaid, had been in Dubai for six years but was living in the country illegally since absconding from her employer in 2007.
Because she did not have documents, police were only able to establish her identity four weeks later when a friend came forward. Mrs Cambalon's family in the southern Philippines have been waiting for Philippine authorities to retrieve her body ever since. Cambalon had a son, Jade, a 17-year-old economics student, and three daughters, aged 15, 12 and eight, who have been told about their mother's death.
"They're strong and are coping well," said their older brother. Mrs Cambalon's body was to be flown to Manila via Emirates Airline today after the Philippine Consulate in Dubai secured permission from the Dubai authorities. The consulate has arranged for the victim's husband, Nelson, to receive her remains. Benito Valeriano, the consul general in Dubai, said the department of foreign affairs in Manila had approved funds for the repatriation.
"We are in an unusual situation," he said. "A Filipina was murdered and the suspect is also a Filipino citizen. The family of the deceased is crying for justice and they do not have money to repatriate her body." The suspect will stand trial for premeditated murder, according to a consular officer. ER's wife has contacted consular officials asking for help for her husband. Mr Valeriano said the consulate wanted to ensure ER had a proper defence. Police said he confessed to killing Mrs Cambalon following a heated argument.
A post-mortem showed that she had been strangled inside a car before her body was dumped, said Mary Simangan, the welfare officer at the Philippine labour office in Dubai. Ellene Sana, the executive director at the Centre for Migrant Advocacy in the Philippines, said Manila should extend free legal assistance to the man even if he had already admitted to the killing. "The government is also obligated to ensure that justice is rendered on the case and the perpetrator of the crime is punished under the law," she said.