Tulfo slams claim that kin of slain OFW accepted 'blood money'

Anna Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2023 04:03 AM | Updated as of Jan 31 2023 06:23 AM

MANILA—Senator Raffy Tulfo belied claims that the family of slain OFW Jullebee Ranara has either accepted blood money or is considering settlement with the camp of her alleged killer. 

The remains of Ranara, who was working in Kuwait, arrived in the Philippines last Friday evening.

“Nagkaisa boses nilang lahat—yung father, mother, at mister—na they will not accept blood money,” Tulfo told reporters after he paid his respects to the OFW’s wake in Las Pinas City, Monday evening, 

“The exact words of the father is: dugo sa dugo. Ibig sabihin hustisya, buhay kapalit ng buhay. So kung ang parusa ay bitay, bitay. So be it. Hindi sila makikipag-areglo," added the senator who chairs the committee on migrant workers in the upper chamber.

Several lawmakers also firmly stood with the family’s decision. 

“Kailangan may sanction. Kailangan maparusahan. Kailangan malaman nila ang Pilipino hindi ginaganyan,” OFW Party-list Rep. Marissa “Del Mar” Magsino told the press after condoling with late 35-year-old’s family. 

Senator Bong Go, who also personally extended his sympathies to the family, shared the same sentiment.

Tulfo asked the public to stop sharing the false report about the acceptance of blood money on social media platforms.

 “Walang katotohanan 'yun,” Tulfo said. “Pakiusap sa netizens, itigil ang pagpapakalat ng chismis tungkol sa blood money na sila ay susuhulan because there is no truth it. 'Wag na po ikalat dahil masakit 'to para sa kanila.” 

Tulfo shared the relatives' reason that they will not be tempted to settle as they had received enough aid from the government and other stakeholders. 

“Sila ay nagpapasalamat sa tulong ng ating gobyerno at ibang kababayan, sapat na raw po iyon para sila ay tuna ka sa offer ng akusado. Sapat na ang tulong, hindi sila nadala sa tukso,” Tulfo shared.
Earlier Monday afternoon, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. personally consoled the relatives of Ranara at their residence. He vowed he will ensure the different government agencies will provide all the possible support they can give to her bereaved loved ones. 

Among the support the administration is preparing are scholarships for the OFW's four children.

“Ang pangako ko sa kanila kaya naman nagsakripisyo ang anak nila na magtrabaho sa abroad ay dahil may mga pangarap siya para sa kanyang pamilya. Sinabi ko, nawala na iyong anak niyo, kami na lang ang tumupad ng pangarap ... Lahat ng assistance na pwedeng naming ibigay, ibibigay namin," Marcos said.

Other stakeholders have also chipped in, he said.

During Marcos’ visit, he said the government is scheduling meetings with the Kuwaiti government to determine if there were "weaknesses" in its labor agreement with the Philippines, which might have helped steer Ranara's brutal slay.

“We will make sure that those weaknesses are remedied so that the agreement is stronger … We hope this will not happen again to any of our countrymen,” Marcos said. 

According to reports, Ranara's burned body was found in a desert in Kuwait last week. Authorities in the Middle Eastern country arrested her employer's son.

Ranara's death has prompted calls for a deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait, and a review of bilateral agreements between the Philippines and Kuwait.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has condemned the murder of Ranara.