Duterte greenlights deployment ban to Kuwait

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2020 03:10 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. File

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the labor department’s call for a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait following the death of a household worker there, Malacañang said Friday.

Duterte wants the Philippines to stop sending its people to the Gulf state, including skilled workers, until Kuwait honors all the provisions of a 2018 deal to provide better protection for Filipino migrant workers there.

“[President Duterte] is for a total ban until the memorandum of agreement between the two countries is fully implemented and the terms contained therein are incorporated in every labor contract with our OFWs,” Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

Panelo alleged that the Kuwaiti government “was attempting to hide” the circumstances surrounding Jeanelyn Villavende’s death when it reported that she died due to “trauma and bruises all over her body.”

An autopsy conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation showed that Villavende was sexually abused and tortured in Kuwait. The result prompted Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to announce a total deployment ban earlier this week.

The country last imposed a total deployment ban to the Gulf state in 2018 after Filipina migrant worker Joanna Demafelis was slain and discovered inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment there. 

Her employer was found guilty for her slay.