Poe: Keep searching for justice until suspects in Demafelis slay are punished
The search for justice should continue until all those responsible for the death of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis are punished, Senator Grace Poe urged on Monday.
“Swift and sure justice is what Joanna Demafelis deserve. But the search for justice should not stop in its tracks until all those responsible for the fate of Joanna are punished,” Poe said in a statement, after a Kuwaiti court on Sunday sentenced the couple accused in Demafelis’ death.
It was reported that a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife were sentenced to death by hanging for killing 29-year-old Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer in Kuwait last February.
While the couple had already been convicted by a Kuwait court, Demafelis’ recruiters had reportedly gone into hiding. Poe said Demafelis’ recruiters should also be held responsible.
ACTS OFW party-list Representative Aniceto “John” Bertiz III earlier urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to form a joint task force to monitor the progress of the case involving Demafelis’ foreign employers.
He added that the role of the DOJ was “crucial” because the owner of the recruitment agency that employed Demafelis has yet to surface.
“We are calling on the owner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Global Solutions to surrender himself and disclose the manner by which Joanna had been recruited,” Bertiz said in a statement, Monday.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said Demafelis’ struggle was a reflection of the same reason why many Filipinos are working abroad.
The senator has likewise called on the government to expedite the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Philippines and Kuwait “for the greater protection of overseas Filipino workers.”
“We also hope that such understanding be present in other countries with OFW population. We must remain vigilant in ensuring that the rights and welfare of OFWs are protected, and government is always at hand to assist them,” Poe added.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had announced the total deployment ban of workers to Kuwait following the discovery of Demafelis’ body inside the freezer of her employers’ abandoned apartment in Kuwait. /je
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