DOJ orders probe of Demafelis' recruiters

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2018 04:11 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2018 04:23 PM

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the recruitment agency that deployed Joanna Demafelis to Kuwait.

In a one-page order, dated February 26, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the NBI “to conduct investigation and case build-up [on the] possible liabilities of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Global E-Human Resources, Inc. in relation to the death of overseas Filipino Joanna Demafelis, and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges.”

Demafelis, 29, was discovered inside the freezer of her employers’ abandoned apartment. She was found to have suffered from physical abuse allegedly at the hands of her employers, and was believed to have been frozen for over a year. 

Her employers, Nader Essam Assaf, a Lebanese, and his wife, Mona, a Syrian national, were arrested separately in Lebanon and Syria, respectively. 

Demafelis’ case, as well as 6 other recent Filipino deaths in Kuwait, led President Rodrigo Duterte to order a deployment ban on new hires to Kuwait.