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Demafelis kin want to witness execution of Joanna’s employers

/ 05:36 PM April 02, 2018
Joanna Demafelis family

Eva (second from left), mother of Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis whose body was found inside a freezer in Kuwait, cries in front of the wooden casket containing her daughter’s body shortly after its arrival from Manila at Iloilo International Airport in Iloilo on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo TED ALJIBE / AFP)

ILOILO CITY — “I want our family to be there when it is carried out.”

This was how Joyce Demafelis reacted to news that a Kuwaiti court sentenced to death the employers of her elder sister Joanna, whose body was found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait last February.

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“I want to be sure that they are the ones who would be punished and that the sentence is carried out,” she told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.

Joanna’s employers, a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife, were sentenced to death by hanging for the killing of Joanna, who worked for them as a domestic helper.

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Authorities believed her body, which had several broken bones and bruises, had been stored there for more than a year.

Joyce said that, if she could have her way, she would want the sentence to be carried out in the Philippines to serve as an example to abusive employers.

Joejet Demafelis, the eldest of nine siblings, said their pain had lessened because of this major development in the case.

“But there is still no justice until they are punished for my sister’s death,” he told the Inquirer.

He said they were hoping that the sentence would be upheld if the couple should make an appeal.

Their family also hopes that the couple will be extradited soon to Kuwait to serve the sentence.

“We are praying that President Duterte will help us go to Kuwait if the sentence is carried out,” Joejet said.

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But he said he would not mind where the couple would be hanged as long as the punishment could be carried out.

He said they were also thankful that the 3.9-hectare land that was pawned to creditors had been redeemed with the help of Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao.

They paid P365,000 to redeem the land after the creditors agreed to deduct P20,000 from the expected payment as a form of assistance to the family.

Joanna had worked for more than two years in Kuwait to help her parents redeem their land.

Joejet said Joyce, their youngest sibling who was closest to Joanna, was expected to return to school to complete a criminology course in the coming school year with the support of the government.

Joyce stopped schooling after Joanna disappeared in Kuwait last year. /atm

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