MANILA - Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the death of Filipino migrant worker Jeanelyn Villavende allegedly in the hands of her employer in Kuwait.
In an order dated Jan. 8, 2020, Guevarra directed NBI director Dante Gierran to also find "possible liability" on the part of agents of the recruitment agency that had placed Villavende in Kuwait.
An early report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait indicated that Villavende was "maltreated" by her employer.
Her employer has been arrested and is now in the custody of Kuwaiti authorities.
Villavende's remains were flown to her hometown General Santos City Thursday.
The killing of Villavende in December 2019 prompted Manila to suspend the deployment of household workers to Kuwait, including new hires and those with expired contracts.
A similar ban was imposed against Kuwait in 2018 after a string of reported deaths and abuses on Filipino workers there, including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer.
The Philippine government earlier said it hired the "best Kuwaiti lawyers" to take on the Villavende case.