SEN. Emmanuel Pacquiao is seeking an inquiry on the “untoward” deaths of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as the government’s labor and foreign policies in relation to their deployment.
Pacquiao filed Resolution 626 on February 13 urging the Committees on Labor and Foreign Relations to conduct the investigation amid the continued abuse and maltreatment of OFWs, which sometimes led to their deaths.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a deployment ban on OFWs to Kuwait following the death of Joanna Daniela Demafelis, whose body was found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in the Al Shaab area.
Authorities revealed that Demafelis may have been stored in the freezer for over a year and there was a possibility that she was tortured and strangled to death.
Sen. Nancy Binay filed Resolution 627 on February 14 directing the proper committee to conduct an inquiry on the OFWS deployment ban to Kuwait “in the light of the tragic fate” of Demafelis.
“The gruesome story of Joanna mirrors the narrative of million other Filipinos who have sacrificed their lives to feed their families and incidentally boost our country’s economy only to be at the receiving end of abuses and maltreatment of foreign employers,” Pacquiao said.
“An inquiry and investigation must be conducted to ferret out the truth surrounding the deaths of our modern heroes, as well as reexamination of our current labor and foreign laws, with the end view of strengthening such policies and programs and establishing solid mechanisms for further protection of our OFWs rights, safety, and well-being,” he added. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO