PNP urges Demafelis recruitment agency officials to surface

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2018 10:28 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2018 07:04 PM

MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) urged the officials of the recruitment agency that deployed domestic worker Joanna Demafelis to come forward after it was found that its license to operate was revoked a month after her supposed contract expiration in 2016.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) certification showed that the recruitment agency's license to operate was revoked on June 7, 2016 due to violations.

Chief Supt. Roque Merdegia Jr., chief of CIDG Anti-Transnational Crime Unit, said there was a gap in the recruitment and deployment of Demafelis, who was deployed to Kuwait in May 2014 with a 2-year contract.

"Kung June 2016 kanselado na ang lisensiya ng Mt. Carmel agency, very remote ang possibility na na-extend pa iyong kontrata na maproseso pang extension ng kontrata particular si Demafelis. Nag-iba ba siya ng agency at nagbago ng employer?" he said.

Merdegia said that based on the statement of alleged recruiter Agnes Tuballes, Demafelis should have made it back to the Philippines by June 2016. However, she was reported missing in November 2016.

"Based sa allegation ni Agnes, pinadala ng Mt. Carmel sa Kuwait si Joanna noong May 2014, dapat dalawang taon lang ang kontrata. Tinitingnan natin kung bakit nandun pa rin sya hanggang November kung kelan sya nawawala. Supposedly dalawang taon lang, ang dapat noong May o June 2016, dapat ay nakabalik na siya sa bansa," he said.

Merdegia said the recruitment agency's responsibility does not end after the worker's deployment.

"Yung pinirmahan ng empleyado ay ng agency na kapag natapos ang kontrata, obligasyon ng agency na ibalik sa Pilipinas ang mga expired nilang empleyado abroad. Cargo nila yon," he said.

Merdegia said they are still trying to determine if Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Global E-Human Resources, Inc. should be held liable for the deployment of Demafelis to Kuwait.

Her recruiters could be held liable for her death as they failed to monitor her condition, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) had said.

Tuballes, meanwhile, has left police custody but vowed cooperation once called into the investigation.