Pinay hanged in Kuwait for murder
A Filipino mother of two who was convicted of killing her Kuwaiti employer’s daughter has been executed, insisting to the end that she was innocent of the murder 10 years ago, officials said on Wednesday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, said Jakatia Pawa was hanged on Wednesday, just hours after she tearfully called her brother, Air Force Lt. Col. Angaris Pawa, from Kuwait to inform him of her scheduled execution.
Pawa, 41, had worked as a maid for the Kuwaiti family for five years before the 2007 killing. The 41-year-old widow asked her brother and other siblings to take care of her 13-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter.
“Since 2007 the department has pursued different channels in an effort to save the life of Ms Pawa, including high-level intercessions,” Jose said, referring to then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s personal efforts in 2010 to seek clemency for Pawa from the Kuwaiti government.
In a statement, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, said the government provided Pawa all necessary assistance to ensure her legal rights were respected and all legal procedures were followed.
He said all other efforts, including “appeals for compassion,” were exerted.
“Execution, however, could no longer be forestalled under Kuwaiti laws,” Abella said. “We pray for her and her bereaved family.”
Jose said the DFA was informed of Pawa’s scheduled execution only on Tuesday. He said the victim’s family refused to accept blood money and demanded the death sentence.
“The whole family was so shocked to hear the bad news, and that news even came from my sister, Jakatia,” Pawa’s brother, Angaris, told the Inquirer in Zamboanga City.
Angaris said the heart-breaking news was first relayed to him by Jakatia herself around 5 a.m. on Wednesday.
“She called up and she told me that she was going to be executed at 8 a.m. Kuwait time (1 p.m. in the Philippines). We are devastated by this news,” said the Air Force officer.
He said Jakatia made a second call about four and a half hours later. She was executed at 3:19 p.m. on Wednesday, Philippine time.
“Please take good care of my children. They are about to become orphans. Don’t worry about me, I know I am going to paradise because I have not committed any crime,” Angaris quoted his sister as saying.
“It was so sudden, we were not even given time to spend a day with her,” he said.
Jakatia, a typical overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who had chosen to leave home for jobs abroad, was accused of murdering her employer’s 22-year-old daughter in 2007.
On April 13, 2008, the Kuwaiti Court of First Instance handed her the death sentence. The decision was upheld by the Kuwait Court of Appeals on June 15, 2009, and the death sentence was affirmed by the Supreme Court on Jan. 19, 2010.
Two years later, Pawa’s husband was shot and killed in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.
After seeking help from every official who the family thought could assist, Angaris informed the Inquirer last week that Jakatia would be coming home this year.
He said a Kuwaiti human rights lawyer told him when he visited her last October that “my sister was innocent and there was a great chance she would be coming home this 2017.”
The lawyer believes it was the daughter’s male friend who killed her, Angaris said.
“We had so many plans together with her children,” Angaris said.
He said Jakatia even prepared for her freedom by taking short courses while in jail.
Angaris said the family was appealing to the Duterte administration to help in the education of Jakatia’s children.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, who has filed a bill to create the Department of Migration and Development to help 10 million OFWs, urged the social welfare department to “prioritize the grant of assistance” to Pawa’s children. —WITH REPORTS FROM JULIE ALIPALA, JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE, LEILA B. SALAVERRIA, CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO AND AP