Uproar over OFW death: PH slams Kuwait defiance of deal

The Philippines could again stop the deployment of workers to Kuwait unless the authorities there secured justice for a Filipina who was killed by the wife of her employer, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday.

READ: DFA condemns death of OFW in Kuwait

Filipino authorities are working to repatriate the remains of the victim, Jeanelyn Villavende, who was from Nuralla in South Cotabato. 

The Palace on Wednesday expressed outrage over Villavende’s killing, calling it a “disregard” of an agreement that seeks to ensure the protection of workers there.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo condoled with the family of Villavende whose death was reported by the Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

“We consider Jeanelyn’s tragic death a clear disregard of the agreement signed by both our country and Kuwait in 2018, which seeks to uphold and promote the protection of the rights and welfare of our workers in Kuwait, Panelo said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte banned the deployment of Filipinos to Kuwait in 2018 following the reported deaths of Filipino workers, including Joanna Demafelis whose body was found in a freezer.

“I’m ready to do that. This is another possibility, a deployment ban in Kuwait is not remote unless they give justice to Jeanelyn,” Bello told DZMM radio.

An early report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait said Villavende was “maltreated” by her employer, who was now detained, Bello said.

Bello said he would summon the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Manila on Thursday for a meeting over the incident. 

Topics: Silvestre Bello III , Department of Labor and Employment , Jeanelyn Villavende , Rodrigo Duterte
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