MANILA - (UPDATE) The remains of the Filipina worker found dead in a freezer in Kuwait arrived in the Philippines on Friday, days after her body was identified.
Joanna Demafelis returned home in a wooden coffin, and was met by crying members of her family and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
Her body bore torture wounds, including bruises and a broken hipbone. She was found inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment earlier this month, with initial investigation revealing she died of internal bleeding.
Demafelis flew to the Gulf state in 2014 to support her family in Iloilo but expressed intent to come home in 2016. She was last seen alive in September that year.
The Kuwaiti government is "outraged" and "will exert all efforts" to bring Demafelis' death to justice, Cayetano said in the sidelines of the worker's body.
Kuwaiti officials are working with the Interpol to search for Demafelis' employers: a Lebanese man and his a Syrian wife.
Cayetano expressed sympathy for the Demafelis family, saying Joanna's death will become a "rallying point" for the state to be "more aggressive" in ensuring the safety of all its workers abroad.
On President Rodrigo Duterte's orders, the Department of Labor and Employment enforced a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait.
Duterte had earlier warned of pulling Filipinos out of the Gulf state amid reports of deaths and abuses of OFWs.