‘Stop sending workers to Kuwait’

Rep. Enrico Pineda of Party-list 1-Pacman wants a total deployment ban on Filipino workers to Kuwait following the killing of domestic worker Jeanelyn Villavende.

In a Dobol B sa News TV interview, Pineda said such ban would force the Kuwaiti government to comply with its agreement with the Philippines to safeguard and protect the welfare of Filipino workers.

“It must be a total ban. Let us see if they [Kuwait] will comply with our memorandum of agreement to fix the problem, and that they will bring the accused to justice,” he said.

“If that would be the case, that would be quite satisfactory for us and it will be a deterrent for the other employers to commit any wrongdoing. If they do so, they would face execution.”

Vice President Leni Robredo called on the government to ensure that what happened to Villavende and Joanna Demafelis, who were killed in Kuwait, would not happen again.

Despite a memorandum of agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait toward the protection of Filipino workers, Robredo said, Filipino workers were still dying.

“We already experienced the same thing before, that is why there was a suspension [of deployment] when Joanna died. We really need to study why things such as these still happen.”

Senator Cynthia Villar said Department of Foreign Affairs should hire the best legal team to ensure justice is served to the family of Villavende who met her tragic death in Kuwait in the hands of her cruel employer. 

Villar said the department should guarantee that Villavende and her family would get justice.

The Filipina, who hailed from Norala, South Cotabato, was allegedly killed by her employers in December last year. The suspects are in custody.

On May 11, 2018, the Philippines and Kuwait forged an agreement to protect the welfare of Filipinos in Kuwait after the death of the domestic Joanna Demafelis.

“The only solution to prevent abuses is for us not to send unskilled workers, especially in the Middle East, since they get to be abused,” Pineda said.

“What I am telling our fellow government workers, especially those from the Department of Trade and Industry, that we must really spur the growth of business so that our people would no longer need to leave the country to work abroad.”

The Philippines must also exert all efforts to ensure the safety and protection of Filipinos in the Middle East amid the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, Pineda said. 

Villavende, who wanted to go home months before her death, was beaten up and killed by her employer. 

Topics: Enrico Pineda , Jeanelyn Villavende , Kuwait , Joanna Dimafelis , Leni Robredo
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