MANILA (UPDATED) - The remains of the Filipina migrant worker who was found in a freezer in Kuwait will arrive in Manila on Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.
The DFA, in a statement, said Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Rene Villa viewed on Wednesday the remains of Joanna Demafelis as preparation for its repatriation.
"Galing po kami sa mortuary ng hospital para ayusin po ang pag-uwi ng labi ng ating kababayan na si Joanna Demafelis. Darating po siya ng Biyernes sa Manila nang mga alas-11 ng umaga," Villa said.
The envoy added that Kuwaiti officials assured him they are hunting down the suspects on Demafelis' death.
"Nakausap ko po muli ang mga opisyal ng Ministry of Interior dito sa Kuwait at kanilang binanggit sakin na talagang pagsisikapan nilang mahuli ang Lebanese na gumawa ng krimen pati yung kanyang [Syrian] na asawa dahil nga na-shock din ang buong Kuwait sa krimeng ito, at matindi ang galit nila sa nangyaring ito, at sana mahuli na sa Lebanon man o Syria ang mag-asawang ito," he said.
Initial investigation showed that a Lebanese man, his wife, and a Filipina domestic helper previously occupied the apartment where Demafelis' body was found.
Authorities are searching for the suspect who is facing charges for fraudulent cheques. The couple reportedly left Kuwait in 2016.
Video courtesy of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait and ordered their repatriation in the wake of reports of maltreatment and death of Filipinos in the Gulf state.
A top Kuwaiti official later condemned Duterte's move to evacuate his country's workers from Kuwait, suggesting the President could damage ties between the two countries.