Gov't vows continued aid for Demafelis kin


Posted at Mar 04 2018 02:24 PM

FILE PHOTO: Family members wait for the arrival of the body of Joanna Demafelis, a Filipina domestic helper who was killed and found inside a freezer in Kuwait, in her hometown in Iloilo province, February 17, 2018. Erik De Castro, Reuters

MANILA - The government on Sunday promised continued aid for the family of domestic worker Joanna Demafelis, whose death prompted the government to ban the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait. 

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will coordinate with the Gulf state about the extradition to Kuwait of Demafelis' employers, a Lebanese-Syrian couple who were tagged in her death, said the agency's Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac. 

The OWWA, he said, will fly Demafelis' parents to Kuwait so they could monitor court proceedings against the suspects. 

Cacdac also vowed financial aid for the education of slain Filipina's sister, the repair of their home in Iloilo province, and livelihood assistance for their family. 

"Patuloy tayong magbibigay ng suporta sa ating mahal na OFWs, pati na rin sa pamilya Demafelis. Patuloy po ang pakikiramay namin sa kanilang panahon ng pagluluksa," he said in a DZMM interview. 

(We will continue supporting our OFWs, including the Demafelis family. We will condole with them in their time of grief.) 

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Demafelis, 29, was found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait early in February, more than a year since she last had contact with her family here in the Philippines. Investigation found signs of abuse.

The ban on deploying new Kuwait-bound workers will stay for now despite the arrest of the suspects in Demafelis' killing, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said last week. 

Kuwait and Philippine officials are set to hold talks this week. The rich oil-producing Gulf state, however, has yet to commit to signing an accord that will protect over 250,000 Filipino workers, many of whom are domestic workers, said Cacdac.