MANILA The Philippine government will actively espouse the right of the family of Joanna Demafelis, the overseas Filipino worker whose body was found inside a freezer in Kuwait, to obtain justice, MalacaAang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the commitment in a press conference in Iloilo before leaving to accompany President Rodrigo R. Duterte on his visit to the Demafelis family home in Barangay Ferraris, Sara, Iloilo.
The Lebanese employers must be caught, prosecuted and punished, Roque said during the press conference.
Reports showed that Demafelis' employers, a Lebanese man and a Syrian woman, both at large, are considered the prime suspects in her murder.
Roque said the government would take the matter up as an obligation.
He also assured that the government would provide all the assistance needed by the Demafelis family.
I am sure the government is able and ready to provide all the assistance. I will wait for the President to make the declaration on all the benefits that will be given to Joanna's family, Roque said.
Meanwhile, he expressed hope that Kuwaiti authorities would give the Demafelis' family adequate domestic remedy.
It should be investigated, prosecuted and the perpetrators punished at the soonest time possible. Again, the position under international law is that Joanna should (have been) treated in the same manner as all nationals of Kuwait, Roque said.
Demafelis' death triggered Duterte to order a total ban on the deployment of OFWs in Kuwait amid reports of several deaths of Filipino workers in the host country.
Roque, however, assured that the deployment ban will not affect the relationship between the Philippines and Kuwait.
After visiting the wake of Demafelis, Duterte will also bestow the Lapu-Lapu Presidential Awards to seven soldiers who were wounded in action, when he visits Camp Adriano Fernandez in Dingle, Iloilo.
Source: Philippine News Agency