Domestic worker does not want to go home after husband in PH discovers she had lovers abroad

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High Court

The High Court junked the asylum appeal of a Filipino domestic worker who wanted to remain in Hong Kong because her husband in the Philippines discovered that she had illicit affairs both here in Hong Kong and in Singapore.

Deputy High Court Judge Josiah Lam on April 25 dismissed the application for leave to apply for judicial review filed by L.S. Alcantara and ruled that the Director of Immigration and the Torture Claims Appeal Board were fair and did not commit any mistake in rejecting her asylum bid.

“The reports of the Director and the Board respectively showed they were acquainted with the facts and the law. They were entitled to render those findings, conclusions and decisions as they did and those findings/conclusions/decisions were all reasonable,” Judge Lam said.

“The Director and the Board had adhered to the high standards of fairness required of the Applicant’s non-refoulement claim,” he added.

Alcantara, now 43, arrived in Hong Kong on Nov. 19, 2005 to work as a domestic worker. Her contract ended prematurely but she overstayed and surrendered to the Immigration Department only on June 11, 2012.

“She lodged a torture claim on August 2, 2012, saying her husband Arnold in the Philippines had repeatedly made threats to kill her after knowing she had extramarital relationships with two other men,” Judge Lam said.

The judge said Alcantara and her husband got married in 1992 in the Philippines and they had two children.

“In 2005, she worked in Singapore (as a domestic worker) and met a man called Ryan.  They had an affair.  Arnold came to know about that.  He threatened to kill (Alcantara),” Judge Lam said.

“The applicant came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper.  She developed a relationship with a Hong Kong resident called Elmer.  She gave birth to two children for Elmer in 2008 and 2013 respectively,” he said.

“Arnold knew about that too.  He repeatedly threatened to kill the applicant if he would see her in the Philippines with her children born out of wedlock,” he added.

However, the immigration director and the torture claims board dismissed Alcantara’s asylum bid, noting that she failed to prove that there was a risk of torture, prosecution, or death if she returned to the Philippines. Judge Lam upheld their decisions.


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