DFA: Death of OFW in Kuwait to become gov’t rallying point in protecting workers

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano. LYN RILLON/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The death of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis will become a “rallying point” for more aggressive efforts to protect Filipino workers all over the world, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Friday.

In an ambush interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Cayetano said he assured Demafelis’ family that her demise will become a symbol for the government to intensify its efforts in protecting OFW.

“Kami ay lubusang nakikiramay kami sa pamilya ni Joanna. Kanina inexpress namin sa kanila not only our condolences (but also our) sympathies. Pero sabi namin, kung makakahanap ng konting comfort sa kanilang puso, na magiging rallying point ang kanilang kapatid,” Cayetano told reporters.

(We are sympathizing with the family of Joanna. Earlier we expressed not only our condolences but also our sympathies. But we also told them, to put a little comfort in their hearts, that their sister’s case will be a rallying point.)

“Her death is very tragic, but it will also be a rallying point for all government agencies to be more aggressive abroad in helping our OFWs to be protected,” he also said.

Moreover, Cayetano bared that the Kuwaiti government was “outraged” by the Filipina worker’s death.

“I spoke to the Kuwaiti ambassador yesterday. Sabi, outraged ang gobyerno nila. Gagawin nila ang lahat to bring the accused to justice,” he said.

(He said their government was very outraged. They will do all possible means to bring the accused to justice.)

READ: Joanna Demafelis, OFW found dead in freezer, comes home Friday

Demafelis was murdered and stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait. The discovery of her demise prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to order a total deployment ban of OFWs to the Gulf State.

Her remains arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 on Friday, February 16. It was scheduled to be brought to Iloilo the next day, Saturday, February 17. /jpv