DOJ chief recommends deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait
MANILA, Philippines –- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said he will recommend to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) a ban in the deployment of domestic helpers to Kuwait following the death of Jeanelyn Villavende.
An autopsy conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) showed that Villavende died of multiple, severe injuries, while there were signs that she was also raped.
“My recommendation is yes (to deployment ban). But I do not know if he (Bello) would accept it. He would probably make an announcement. It is really up to DOLE, they are discussing it now,” said Guevara during the Kapihan forum Wednesday.
“We already have a clear agreement with them (government of Kuwait) so, if they do not comply with the undertakings or responsibilities under the government-to-government agreement, in my opinion, there are other places that our workers can go to,” he said.
In 2018, the Philippines and Kuwait signed an agreement for the protection of Filipino workers following the death of Filipina maid Joanna Demafelis whose body was found in a freezer inside the abandoned apartment of her employer.
With the repeat of such incident of abuse in the case of Villavende, the justice secretary said, “why go to a country where you are disrespected, where you are abused.”
Guevarra said they are willing to collaborate with the Kuwait justice agencies to prosecute the killers of Villavende.
“If they need witnesses, we will make arrangements…We can assist in the investigation and prosecution,” he said, adding that they expect the laboratory result from the NBI to be submitted within the day.
Villavende reportedly died in the hands of her employer’s wife last Dec. 28. Both her employer and her wife are now in prison in Kuwait.
This prompted the government to implement a partial ban in the deployment of domestic workers in Kuwait.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.