• Filipina executed in Kuwait


    FILIPINA domestic helper Jakatia Pawa was executed at 10:19 a.m. in Kuwait (3:19 p.m. in Manila) despite government efforts to delay the hanging, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Wednesday.

    Lt. Col. Angaris Pawa told The Manila Times Jakatia, his sister, called at around 5 a.m. to tell her family of her fate.

    The Kuwaiti daily Alrai reported that Kuwaiti prince Shaikh Faisal Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, a Kuwait woman, an Ethiopian woman, two Egyptian men and a Bangladeshi man were hanged along with Jakatia.

    Angaris recounted the phone conversation: “‘Brother,’ she told me, ‘I’m saying goodbye.’ I said, ‘What kind of goodbye?’ She said, ‘Brother, tomorrow I will be hanged. Brother, this is my only wish. Don’t neglect my two children.’”

    Jakatia, a 41-year-old single mother of two teenagers from the southern city of Zamboanga, worked in the Gulf Arab state as a domestic helper in 2006.

    She was accused of stabbing her employer’s daughter 28 times in 2007.

    In 2010, the Kuwait’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, upheld the death verdict handed down by the Court of First Instance in 2008 despite appeals from then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and watchdog group Amnesty International.

    Jakatia pleaded her innocence, claiming the killing might have been carried out by the victim’s relative over the latter’s alleged illicit love affair with a male neighbor.

    In an interview with radio station dzRH, Susan Ople, president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, said an investigation had found that Jakatia’s DNA was not in the murder weapon and the motive was not clearly established.

    Charles Jose, DFA spokesman, told reporters in a news conference the Philippine government had “exerted different efforts,” including diplomatic and political interventions. The government also tapped “religious channels,” he said.

    It was “the first time in a long time” that a Filipino was executed in Kuwait, he said. “We were unable to prove her innocence.”

    The family was convinced the government did its part to save Jakatia, Angaris said. The government paid for her lawyer, a relative of Kuwait’s Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

    The government also assisted in Angaris’ travels to Kuwait in 2008, 2013 and October 2016.

    Angaris said that in October, the lawyer assured him that his sister would be released this year.

    “The opposite happened,” he said. “I just cried…it’s difficult for us, for our family.”

    Following Islamic practice, Jakatia’s remains will be buried in Kuwait immediately.

    At least 86,019 Filipinos are working in Kuwait, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

    Jose said 88 Filipinos are on death row abroad. MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO


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    1 Comment

    1. So she was innocent, or at least not really proven. How many other Filipinos will suffer the same fate here when the death penalty returns? I wonder which state has the most robust judicial system. Kuwait or the Philippines?