Abella clarifies reported arrest of Demafelis employer in Lebanon

MANILA Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Ernesto Abella on Wednesday reiterated the clarification made by the department confirming the arrest of Mona Hassoun, one of the employers of overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis, whose missing body was discovered in a freezer in Kuwait.

The arrest of Hassoun, wife of Nader Essam Assaf, the principal suspect in the Demafelis slay was reported by the DFA on Saturday, Feb. 24, less than two days after the latter was held in custody by Lebanese authorities.

On Tuesday, a GMA News Online report quoted Raul Dado, executive director from the DFA-Office of Migrant Workers Affairs saying the agency is not sure about Hassoun's arrest.

In a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency, Dado clarified the DFA "did not use the word 'not sure,'" but said they are confirming reports from concerned posts to exercise due diligence.

Abella said Hassoun's arrest was conveyed to Philippine Ambassador to Kuwai Renato Villa by the embassy's contacts that had connections with Lebanese judicial authorities handling the case.

He added that the arrest of Hassoun was also later carried by the media in Lebanon which Villa also cited in his report.

At present, the embassy is awaiting formal notification from Kuwaiti authorities taking the lead role in the efforts to locate and apprehend the two and have them repatriated to Kuwait.

According to Dado, a case for homicide has already been filed with the Prosecutors of Maidan Hawally in Kuwait. "The Embassy lawyers will make a report on the penalty as the case progresses," he added.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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