• OFW’s death in Kuwait a ‘rallying point’ for ‘more aggressive’ PH support–Cayetano


    FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Friday that the Kuwaiti government would exert all efforts to bring the killers of a Filipino worker to justice.

    Cayetano said the Kuwaiti government was outraged by the murder of Joanna Daniela Demafelis whose body was found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

    “Her death was very tragic, but will also be a rallying point for all of the government agencies to be more aggressive abroad in helping OFWs,” Cayetano said.

    The remains of Demafelis arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at past 10 a.m. via GulfAir flight GF154 from Kuwait. Her siblings — sister Jessica and brother Jojjt – said their family wanted justice.

    A television report earlier on Friday said that the family was considering filing civil and criminal cases against the Mt. Carmel Global Travel Agency, which recruited the Filipina.

    According to the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), Demafelis’ body may have been stuffed inside the freezer since November 2016 when her employers, a Lebanese, identified as Nader Essam Assaf, and his Syrian wife, left Kuwait. Assaf was wanted for cases related to falsified checks.

    Authorities have yet to find them.

    Demafelis body was discovered after a Kuwaiti court ordered the couple’s apartment to be opened.

    Cayetano said reports from Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa said that initial autopsy findings revealed that Demafelis was beaten several times before she died from broken ribs, internal bleeding, contusions and trauma to her body, including her pelvis and kidneys.

    Cayetano said the death of Demafelis would mean that government agencies would be more aggressive in protecting OFWs.

    “We are now working as a one-team approach from the undersecretary level down to the director level, down to the people on the ground. We’re putting a system of communications with our millions of OFWs abroad due to many cases of abuse.”

    Demafelis’ remains will be flown to Iloilo on Saturday for the wake and burial.

    The death of Demafelis led the Philippine government to impose a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait. WITH A REPORT FROM FRANCE CAUBANG



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