KORONADAL, South Cotabato -- Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III wants Manila to impose a permanent deployment ban of Filipino migrant workers to Kuwait after authorities there sent a "fake and dishonest" autopsy result on an OFW who was slain by her Kuwaiti employers last December.
The labor chief said Friday he doubted the credibility of Kuwaiti forensic doctors after they sent a two-sentence report of the autopsy conducted on Jeanelyn Villavende which said the Filipina worker died of "physical injuries."
"I wrote to NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to conduct our own autopsy, and I found out na 'yong autopsy report ng Kuwaiti government ay palpak, sinungaling at walang kwenta," Bello said during the 20th Hinugyaw festival closing ceremonies, after he visited Villavende's wake and her family in Norala town, South Cotabato.
Due to the :false" autopsy report, Bello said he will recommend to the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to impose a deployment ban of household service workers to "worthless" Kuwait, promising to deliver justice for Villavende.
"Wala na tayong ipadadala doon. Mga walang kuwenta 'yang mga Kuwaiti na 'yan. Biro mo 'yong ginawa nila sa ating kababayan. 'Pag ikuwento ko sa inyo, baka pati [kayo] magwewelga na. Masyado nilang inapi ang ating kababayan," said Bello.
"We will not allow injustice done to our OFW. We will see to it that the culprits will answer for their crimes."
According to the autopsy report of NBI medical officer Dr. Ricardo Rodaje, there is a possibility that Villavende was also sexually violated before she was killed.
Philippine officials earlier said the suspect in Villavende's slay was already in the custody of Kuwaiti authorities. They also imposed a partial ban on the deployment of OFWs to the Gulf state and have not yet lifted it, as of this writing.
In 2018, a Filipina migrant worker, Joanna Demafelis, was slain and discovered inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment in the Gulf state.
President Rodrigo Duterte responded threateningly, listing some of his demands to the Kuwaiti government on the treatment of Filipino domestic helpers.
The Philippines and Kuwait then figured in a diplomatic row after a video showing the rescue of distressed Filipino workers by Philippine embassy officials in the Gulf nation went viral online. This led to a labor deployment ban on the Gulf state.
The two countries settled their differences after both signed a deal to provide better protection for Filipino migrant workers in Kuwait. -- With a report from Jay Dayupay, ABS-CBN News
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