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Wrye83

Need Help/Advice about a Mentally Ill/Destitute Expat

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Wrye83

I'm trying to locate a man that has some health (and possibly mental?) issues that was (until recently?) homeless in Dumaguete City. There was a recent article about the man posted on a local media outlet describing his situation and some actions that were (allegedly) taken by the LGU/local Immigration office. The article: 

http://dumaguetemetropost.com/us-official-refuses-to-help-us-citizen-p7343-635.htm#.Vyq8ecLfb4d.facebook

 

 

The bible says: Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (1 John 3:18). Apparently, love is an action. If you really love someone, then you show it by how you act toward that person.

 
A few days ago, the City of Dumaguete sent a team of government employees to the American Consular Agency in Lahug, Cebu City to turn over an American national in the person of Robert Walter Oest of 16 Ritter St., PMP 3517, San Rafael, California 94912, USA. 
 
The team was composed of three police officers from the PNP Tourist Police Unit – PO2 Roque Marfa Paragsa, PO2 Cherry Bil Enduna Bulabon, and PO1 Rowena Dizon Alfonso - and Encarnita Kadile, a social worker from the City Social Welfare & Development Office.
 
The 72-year-old US citizen was discovered in Dumaguete on March 10, 2016 by tourist police officers, seemingly abandoned and penniless resulting to his begging in the streets for food. According to collateral information generated by the City Social Welfare office, Oest is an American pensioner but had “lost his ATM card and has no money to contact his depository bank in the US”. This homeless American had been staying at the Press Club building along Rizal Boulevard for more than a month now, and the City could no longer sustain his daily needs, care, and safety.
 
On April 5, 2016, I called a meeting with Immigration Officer Peter Bueno, PNP Tourist Police Unit Chief P/Insp Nathaniel Rubia, CSWD Officer Carola Alquero with her social workers, and Task Force SAGARR deputy ground commander Eddie Oira to address the problem on this foreign national. After brainstorming and exchanging notes, we decided to turn-over the Mr. Oest to the Consular agent and head of Mission of the American Consular Agency in Cebu. 
 
And so armed with an Office Order, the City Hall team accompanied Mr. Oest to Cebu City on April 19, 2016 to turn him over to Consular Agent Glenn Ivan Loop. Mr. Oest’s case was discussed to Mr. Loop, who was provided all the necessary information such as Incident Report, Mental Status Examination Report by psychiatrist Dr. Glenda Basubas of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, medical certificate from City Health Officer Dr. Ma. Sarah Talla, and my endorsement.
 
Believe it or not, the US official refused to receive their own US citizen who has been begging for help here in Dumaguete. 
 
Even the request for a Certificate of Appearance for each of those who accompanied Mr. Oest was denied. How can these government employees now liquidate their cash advances for travel expenses?
 
I was somewhat shocked over what transpired with the team, and could not help but shake my head in disbelief. I could not imagine the kind of treatment by the American official. It was so frustrating to realize that the world’s most powerful United States of America cannot help its own constituent begging for help. 
 
What does this tell us? This sounds very contradicting and very difficult to comprehend. The US has been helping countless poor people in numerous poor countries, yet, here comes their own citizen, poor and sickly, and they wouldn’t extend him any help. 
 
And why is it the US official cannot issue certificates of appearance to Philippine government employees who appear before him in his office? What can you say about this?

 

 

 

While I personally do not like the "tone" of this article and it is very apparent that quite a bit of information has been left out, I would like to try to assist in getting him get help (if that is even possible). Obviously, being without an ATM and not being able to contact his bank is NOT the only issue this man is having.

 

This has been discussed on DI in this thread. To summarize the information posted there: 

  1. This is not the first time someone has tried to find help for him. 
  2. His mental condition has taken a quick decline in the past 6 months according to a few people that new him/spoke to him. (He went from having a home/being well dressed and talking about moving to Vietnam to living on the streets and begging for change in this time frame.)
  3. It seems he might have family in the US, but it is not clear if they were contacted by the author of article above or the BoI.
  4. The article stops with his arrival at Cebu and it is possible (no first hand information) that he was just left on a corner in Cebu and forgotten about by the people who took him there. 
  5. I have emailed Mr. Ablong (the article's author and Dumaguete Government employee) for more information about the man and his situation/location but I have not received a reply yet. I have also just sent a message to Mr. Ablong's FB account
  6. Emails have been sent to the US Embassy as well but, as expected, they are not going to release any information about the man without his written permission.
  7. I am aware of what services the US Embassy/Consulate provides and the numbers to contact. 

First thing I am concerned with is the man's whereabouts. I am posting this here because Cebu is his last known whereabouts. I am curious if anyone has seen this man around town, probably begging for money. 

 

If anyone knows this man or has more information on him or his family it would be greatly appreciated. I would like to know if he is a military veteran or a member of any fraternal organizations (Freemasons, Knights of Columbus, Loyal Order of the Moose, etc). If someone has access to AKO/NKO/AF Portal it would be a big help if you could run his name through the search there, but given his age he might not show up there even if he did serve. 

 

I'd also like some advice on what actually can be done to get this guy the help/assistance he needs in case his mental state is severely deteriorated and is completely unwilling/combative in returning to the US and if his family can't be found, don't exist or don't care (or a facility that can help him....I know I know, this is the Philippines and without money the chances of a mental health facility helping are slim to none). 

 

Which government agency, Philippine or US, would be best to coordinate through/contact, if any? I would think that immigration would be the only government agency that could really do anything about it while he is roaming around the Philippines. Though harsh, I personally think him being deported might be the best option for him if his family is not willing to help out. I highly doubt the man has kept up with his visa extensions with the BoI. Since it is claimed in the article that Dumaguete Immigration was involved in this, it is possible that he wasn't just left on the street, but taken to Immigration in Cebu for holding after the US Consulate (allegedly) refused to accept him.

 

Some basic (non-verified) info:

Name: Robert Walter Oest

US Address: 16 Ritter St PMB 3517 San Rafael, CA 97912

Age: 72

Sister: Elizabeth Seiffert

Cousin: Janet Schwartz

 

Again, any information would be greatly appreciated. Below are some images, even if you have just seen him around that would be very helpful: 

 

TOjzAey.png

 

hgGQ7se.png

 

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Paul

This, unfortunately, is a problem with US Citizens. I have stated the following, countless times:

 

The US Embassy in Manila doesn't give two shits about you, unless you are active military personnel. As citizens of the US, while still IN the US, are sold a bunch of goods about how wonderful the Department of State is. It isn't until we go abroad, that we learn it is nothing more any other typical government agency. 

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Wrye83

This, unfortunately, is a problem with US Citizens. I have stated the following, countless times:

 

The US Embassy in Manila doesn't give two shits about you, unless you are active military personnel. As citizens of the US, while still IN the US, are sold a bunch of goods about how wonderful the Department of State is. It isn't until we go abroad, that we learn it is nothing more any other typical government agency. 

I know the State Department isn't going to do much of anything unless the guy seeks their help himself....but him being mentally unstable/ill adult certainly complicates things (as it does pretty much anywhere in the world), especially if he doesn't want to go back to the US. I'm not really sure what they could do even if they wanted to help. There is nothing illegal (in the eyes of the State Department anyways) about being mentally ill, homeless or begging for change....not that the State Department could do anything about it if it was since he is in the Philippines, they can't go out and detain Americans on their own. Even in the US there isn't much a local/state government will/can do to a mentally ill adult, unless the person is deemed to be an immediate threat to others. If they don't want help and aren't hurting anyone.....what can you do? This is why I think the BoI is going to need to take the lead on dealing with him (his only crime at this point might be that he is overdue on visa extensions). 

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shadow

So basically what you are implying is, these uneducated do gooders, rather than try to contact someone knowledgeable by other means, took it upon themself to take (possibly involuntarily?) this man personally to the Cebu Consulate, who has no authority or interest in helping this guy, and since the consulate refused to take him off their hands (because they can't),...

 

they may have left him somewhere in Cebu City to fend for himself?

 

And now they are crying, not because they were unable to help the guy, but because they cannot get reimbursed.

 

He would have been much better off left alone at the Press Club, than forced to go to, and then abandoned, in CC.

 

Kudos for bringing this to everyone's attention, maybe someone with half a brain, will stumble across him and update us, where I'm sure someone here may be of real help. 

Edited by shadow
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Irenicus

 

 

If anyone knows this man or has more information on him or his family it would be greatly appreciated. I would like to know if he is a military veteran or a member of any fraternal organizations

 

Oh, god - he is SO emaciated now in that last photo. Damn.

 

I haven't seen him around Duma for over a month.  He has been in serious decline in the preceding six months and it was tough to watch.

 

I will PM ya.

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woodchopper

been there/done this recently with an aussie! DIFFICULT!

 

my advice is to try to contact friends or family in the US! (not much joy from various govts!)

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RogerDuMond

Wouldn't it have been cheaper for them to help him contact the bank for an ATM card? I don't know of a US bank that won't take collect calls from overseas account holders.

Edited by RogerDuMond
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Paul

 

 

This is why I think the BoI is going to need to take the lead on dealing with him (his only crime at this point might be that he is overdue on visa extensions). 

 

If that is the case, he is screwed, unfortunately.

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Wrye83

 

 

So basically what you are implying is, these uneducated do gooders, rather than try to contact someone knowledgeable by other means, took it upon themself to take (possibly involuntarily?) this man personally to the Cebu Consulate, who has no authority or interest in helping this guy, and since the consulate refused to take him off their hands (because they can't),...  

 

they left him somewhere in Cebu City to fend for himself?

 

And now they are crying, not because they were unable to help the guy, but because they cannot get reimbursed.
 
He would have been much better off left alone at the Press Club, than forced to go to, and then abandoned, in CC.
 
Kudos for bringing this to everyone's attention, maybe someone with half a brain, will stumble across him and update us, where I'm sure someone here may be of real help. 

I'm trying to get the guy who wrote the article to reply to my messages so......no I'm not saying that. ;) Though not sure if he was actually left in Cebu or not. 

 

 

 

Wouldn't it have been cheaper for them to help him contact the bank for an ATM card?

Obviously there was much more to the story than just a stolen ATM card. 

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RogerDuMond

 

 

Obviously there was much more to the story than just a stolen ATM card.

 

Obviously, but you have to start somewhere.

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Salty Dog

It's the Dumaguete Syndrome. Happens to all expats who stay there too long.

 

Why do you think Larry lives in Valencia.

 

While Irenicus and Motorboy still live there, enough said... :db:

 

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk

Edited by Salty Dog
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KID

 

 

As citizens of the US, while still IN the US, are sold a bunch of goods about how wonderful the Department of State is

 

Have you seen the new show Criminal minds: Beyond borders ?

 

The show is so full of untrue BS about how the US government will rescue you in your time of need it makes you want to puke

 

    About Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, a spinoff of the hit CBS Television Network series “Criminal Minds,” is a drama about the specialized International Division of the FBI tasked with solving crimes and coming to the rescue of Americans who find themselves in danger while abroad. Heading the International Response Unit is Unit Chief Jack Garrett, a seasoned 20-year veteran of the Bureau. The team he trusts with his life includes Clara Seger, a smart, well-traveled and multi-lingual cultural anthropologist, Matthew Simmons, a former military hero with split-second profiling skills he honed on the battlefield, Russ “Monty” Montgomery, the unit’s compassionate, brilliant tech analyst who additionally liaises stateside with the families of those in trouble while his group is far from home, and Mae Jarvis, the team’s fearless and fun medical examiner. These exceptional agents are dedicated to safely returning U.S. residents home by profiling and identifying criminals who are beyond our borders.

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woodchopper

if any person/s thinks, any govt, anywhere, is going to spring into action on behalf of their overseas resident,,,,well most of us know different!

 

i have it on good authority US fred mcauley was recently cremated after about 6mths laying a funeral home, on the assistance of his ex wife who borrowed the $$.

 

FRIENDS OR FAMILY,,,my same advice of earlier,, i stand by! IMO

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Mandingo

One thing that might help is find out where his family is and have them contact their Congressman or Senator. I contacted mine (Senator Lisa Murkowski) once about a ex-pat who died overseas when the family was having problems getting the body returned to the States.I heard back from her office and got the ball rolling for the family so maybe something similar can be done here. Might be worth a try........

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motorboy

It's the Dumaguete Syndrome. Happens to all expats who stay there too long.

Why do you think Larry lives in Valencia.

While Irenicus and Motorboy still live there, enough said... :db:

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk

I am in the Tampa/ Orlando area now. After a little more then a year and a half in Dumaweird I had to leave. My feeble mind could take no more. I never remember seeing this guy around. I think we all need to pay attention more for guys like this who may need help because their mental capacity has diminished for what ever reason.
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