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) said 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, an Air Force official, recounted the phone conversation: “‘Kuya [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 province of Zamboanga Sibugay, 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, 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 Amnesty International.
Jakatia pleaded her innocence, claiming the killing might have been carried out by the victim’s relative because of the latter’s alleged illicit love affair with a male neighbor.
Susan Ople, president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, told radio station dzRH an investigation had found that Jakatia’s DNA was not in the murder weapon. The motive was also not clearly established, she said.
Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, the DFA spokesman, said in a news conference the Philippine government had “exerted different efforts,” including tapping diplomatic and political channels, to stop the execution. The government also tried to go through “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,” Jose said.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the execution “could no longer be forestalled under Kuwaiti laws.”
The family was convinced the government did its part to save Jakatia, Angaris said. The government paid for her lawyer, a relative of Kuwaiti 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.
with CATHERINE S. VALENTE