Cherilyn Gamba Cabag receives a certificate of appreciation from Dubai Police.


Exclusive: Filipina whistleblower on Dubai crime shares story

Dubai expat Cherilyn Gamba Cabag was on her way home when she witnessed a man being abducted. After getting a better look, she called the police. It was the Filipina’s crucial call that saved his life.

With information from Cabag, police were able to rescue the Asian victim and arrest his three assailants, also Asians. The case is currently in court.

For her “valiant” effort in coordinating with the force to solve the crime, the Dubai Police recently honored Cabag with a certificate of appreciation.

Lieutenant Colonel Majed Essa Jan, speaking on behalf of Major General Ali Ahmad Abdullah Ghanim, director of Al Muraqqabat Police Station, emphasized that the Filipina is an example to be followed in positively collaborating with police and for her “remarkable” efforts in community policing.

Cabag hopes her story will inspire more people to help those in trouble and encourage them to collaborate with the police force. She also hopes she will get to meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whom she calls Dubai’s fearless leader and her inspiration.

Speaking to after getting clearance from Al Muraqqabat Police Station, Cabag shared details of the harrowing incident in October, saying she was just in the right place at the right time.

“It was before 7pm and I was heading towards a mall after work when I saw a man being beaten by three other men on the street before he was dragged into their car,” Cabag told “I was able to see the plate number of the car before it sped off.”

“Being a citizen, I felt alarmed about the incident. My first thought was, ‘They might kill him’. So I prayed for guidance, and it became clear that I should call the police. So I did,” she said.

Cabag said that as soon as she informed police about what she witnessed, they immediately sent a team to investigate. Eventually, the attackers were arrested and police rescued the victim.

Police hailed Cabag for her bravery, saying that it was information from the valiant Filipina that led to the quick arrest of the suspects.

“I didn’t expect to get recognition from Dubai Police. I just wanted to help,” she said, adding that she also received praises from family and friends for her bravery.

But did Cabag ever worry about getting in trouble? “My first instinct was to help. As the attack happened on a busy street, I noticed that a lot of people saw it, but no one seemed to bother helping. I thought, if I don’t do something, who will?” she said.

The 45-year-old Filipina from Rizal province in the Philippines has been living a “brave” life in Dubai since 2015. She calls the emirate her second home. “I love Dubai so much. It’s one of the safest places I have lived in,” she said.

Cabag has worked for the household of a high-ranking UAE official before working for two other expat families in Dubai. “It’s challenging but it’s rewarding,” she said, adding that she appreciates that her employers have treated her like family.

Her only regret? Not being able to visit her own family for years. Cabag has three children in the Philippines that she has only seen via video calls in the last seven years.

“Usually every day we are on Botim. I can also quickly contact them via Instagram or Tiktok, unlike in the old days when we didn’t have social media,” she said.

Cabag is currently on the hunt for a new job. She hopes she can land her dream job as a computer programmer. She also plans on reviving her YouTube channel Purple Cherie TV.

While job hunting, Cabag has received help from members of the Bread of Life Ministry, CSG Church and BOL Europe-KSA-Dubai chapter. She has no relatives in Dubai but is thankful for friends from her ministries and church groups, including 85-year-old Nida Maristella, a long-time Dubai resident, who has allowed her to stay in her apartment for free.

“My parents raised me to be fearless in everything, including in telling the truth. So I grew up being ‘palaban’ (strong-willed), as long as I am right,” she said in Filipino.

When asked about her message to UAE residents who might face a similar situation, Cabag said: “Don’t be afraid to help if someone is in trouble. God is there to guide you.” PIA/ICA/Expat Media

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