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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, January 8, 2011
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City gov’t takes steps to help
Bacoleña jailed in Thailand


The Bacolod City government has started moves to help the 28-year-old Bacoleña sentenced to life for an unspecified crime and now detained at the Ngam Wong Wan Central Women’s Institution in Bangkok, Thailand.

Flory May Talaban’s parents, Nede and Florentino, had appealed to Bacolod City and Negros Occidental officials to help them seek her release and to determine the cause of her imprisonment.

Jeff Esperanzate, a senior staff member of the Sectoral Concerns Office of Bacolod City, said yesterday that their calls to the Philippine Embassy in Thailand could not get through and they have tried to contact other government agencies, including the Office of the President and Vice President.

However, he said the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration informed them yesterday that they do not have the name of Flory May Talaban in their records because she left the country as a tourist.

They only have records of documented Overseas Filipino Workers, but only assured the city government that they will try their best to help, Esperanzate said.

He also said they have contacted the Office of the President and the Vice President and were advised to request the parents of Talaban to write them a letter supported by one from Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. also requested Talaban’s parents to visit him or his staff so they could document everything so he can refer the case to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Talaban, a Political Science graduate of the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod, flew to China in 2005 together with Chona Jomilla supposedly to teach at the Becton International University in Guangzho, China, but they found out that the university does not exist.

Her mother, Nede, said her daughter used to send money and communicated with them. The last time they spoke to Flory May was on her birthday on May 2, 2009, she said.

They only knew of her whereabouts when a group of Christian missionaries from Bacolod, who are friends of their pastor, saw Flory May at the Thai prison. The missionaries spoke to Flory May and she wrote an undated letter to her parents telling them of her situation, her mother added.*CGS




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