Duterte wants death penalty for killers of OFW in Kuwait

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2020 11:22 AM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Malacañan Palace on March 9, 2020. Robinson Niñal Jr., Presidential Photo

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he would ask for the death penalty for those behind the killing of a Filipino migrant worker in Kuwait.

Duterte said he would visit the Gulf state and ask its government to “cut off the heads” of the killers of domestic helper Jeanelyn Villavende.

“And if they can follow it through in accordance with their laws, I would ask for…I will ask for the maximum. I want their executioner to cut off the heads of those who are responsible for the death of the Filipina,” Duterte said during a late-night press briefing.

Earlier this year, the Philippines imposed a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait after Villavende was found to have been sexually abused and tortured by her employer.

Her employers are currently detained while undergoing trial, a move that President Duterte called as “good justice.”

“But in the Middle East, while I talk my heart bleeds. Kaya pupunta talaga ako sa Kuwait. I have to go to Kuwait,” Duterte said.

Following the death of Villavende, the Philippines and Kuwait agreed on a harmonized standard employment contract for overseas Filipino workers.

With the new contract, employers are barred from keeping the passport of their workers. The workers will also be allowed to use their mobile phones after work, and are entitled to a day off with pay.

Manila last imposed a total deployment ban on 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.