LABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the recruitment agency of overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found dead in a freezer nearly one year after her employers left their Kuwait residence, would be held accountable for what happened to her.
Bello, in an interview over dzBB, said the recruiters, still to be publicly identified, would be accountable “civilly or administratively, unless the Kuwaiti police have evidence to link them to the violent death of Joanna.”
Meanwhile, Malacañang on Saturday welcomed the arrest of one of the suspects in the brutal murder of Demafelis by Lebanese authorities.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippine government was thankful for the arrest and hoped the suspects—the wife, a Syrian national, had not been arrested as yet—be prosecuted and punished soonest.
According to a report, Nader Essam Assaf, a Lebanese national, was arrested in his home country for the death of the Filipina worker and now currently detained in Lebanon. A second suspect, the wife, remains missing.
His arrest is a critical first step in the quest for justice for Joanna, the Palace official said
Demafelis had gone missing in September 2016, and her body was found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait earlier this month.
She left for Kuwait in 2014 hoping to earn enough to support her family.
Bello said they had asked the National Bureau of Investigation to look for the recruiters of Demafelis.
He said the department was now coordinating with Kuwaiti authorities on who recruited Demafelis, whose remains would be buried at the Sara public cemetery in Iloilo on March 3.