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Inquiry Ordered on Death of Another Filipino Maid in Singapore

December 20, 1995

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Eight months after Singapore hanged a Filipino maid for murders many of her countrymen believe she didn’t commit, another Filipino maid has died in Singapore, and her family alleges foul play.

Officials began an inquiry Wednesday into the Dec. 7 death of Angelina Palaming. Singapore police say she committed suicide by jumping from her employer’s ninth-floor apartment.

But medical examiners from the Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation found evidence indicating her death may not have been the result of a jump, newspapers reported. They did not elaborate.

The case could revive criticism in the Philippines about the treatment of Filipino maids in Singapore, an issue that caused a diplomatic rift in March when maid Flor Contemplacion was hanged for two murders.

Many people in the Philippines said Contemplacion may not have committed the murders and accused Singapore officials of being too hasty to convict her.

Both countries pulled their ambassadors during anti-Singapore protests in the Philippines. President Fidel Ramos and Singaporean Prime Minister Go Chok Tong have agreed to restore full relations by January.

Relatives of Ms. Palaming say Singapore is again trying to cover up the death of a Filipino maid.

Elena Ildefonso, a sister of Ms. Palaming, said that when she telephoned her 28-year-old sister on Dec. 11, the employer told her Ms. Palaming was no longer working for the family.

When she called again later the same day, she was told that her sister had committed suicide.

President Fidel Ramos ordered an investigation, and refused to comment until he receives a report on the death. Singapore also refused to comment.

Medical examiners in the Philippines also disagreed with Singaporean doctors in the case of Contemplacion, 42. She was hanged March 17 for killing fellow Filipino maid Delia Maga and her four-year-old Singaporean ward in 1991.

Filipino investigators said Maga had been beaten before her death _ and that the wounds appeared to have been inflicted by a man. Singaporean doctors said Contemplacion could have caused the wounds.

A panel of American forensic experts selected by the two governments examined Maga’s skeletal remains and ruled in favor of Singapore.

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