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Family wants suspects in death of Joanna Demafelis to suffer too

Jessica (center)), sister of Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis whose body was found inside a freezer in Kuwait, cries in front of a wooden casket containing her sisterm’s body shortly after its arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Feb. 16, 2018, while another sibling Jojit (left, in yellow shirt) and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (second, right) look on. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)

A life for a life.

This is the demand of the family of Joanna Demafelis on learning that suspects in the killing of the domestic helper have been arrested.

“Whatever they had done to my daughter should be done to them,” said Eva Demafelis in an phone interview on Sunday.

She said that with the arrest of the Lebanese employer and his Syrian wife, their hearts would lighter when they would bury Joanna in the afternoon of March 3 because justice was slowly getting within their reach.

Hans Leo Cacdac, chief of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, traveled to the Demafelis home on Sunday in Barangay Ferraris, Sara town, about 98 km from Iloilo City, to relay the news, just before the family was to have breakfast at about 9:00 a.m.

Cacdac talked to Joanna’s siblings Jojit and Jessica who then relayed the good news to their parents, Crisanto and Eva.

“I am so happy,” Eva said in Hiligaynon. “I thank the Lord for hearing my prayers and for President Duterte who didn’t take for granted my daughter’s case.”

But Jojit, in a separate interview, said that the family had one request – the abuse and the suffering inflicted on Joanna should also be done to the suspects.

“They made my sister suffer, based on the autopsy report. They treated her worse than an animal,” he said. “We loved our sister. We never hurt her. That’s why we want that whatever they had done to her should also be done to them.”

Asked if the family would be willing to accept blood money in exchange for a lower sentence for the couple, Jojit replied: “We don’t want their money. We want justice for our sister.”

Ferraris Barangay Councilor Pablo Demafelis, uncle of Joanna, said that while the family was happy with the arrest, there was still anger over what happened to her.

He said the arrest was just the start of their quest in seeking justice because the couple should be prosecuted.

“Their wish is that the death penalty should be imposed on them. They took a life so they should also pay it with their lives,” he added. /atm

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