Deployment ban in Kuwait stays despite arrest of Demafelis' killers
The deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait stays despite arrest of prime suspects in the murder of a Filipina housemaid, Malacanang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque echoed President Rodrigo Duterte's statement he wants suspects in the killing of Joanna Demafelis to be behind bars before he lifts the deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
"Well, we certainly appreciate the arrest of two of Joanna’s employers. However in addition to the arrest, we would like to see them prosecuted and punished for the murder of Joanna," he said in a press briefing.
"As of now, the deployment ban stays because the latest statement on this made by the President was when he visited the wake of Joanna, and he said that not only must they be apprehended, they must be punished," Roque added.
Last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported Demafelis' former employers, the main suspects on her murder, were arrested in Syria.
Nader Esam Assaf, a Lebanese, and his wife, Nona Hassoun, a Syrian national, were subject of an Interpol manhunt after Kuwaiti authorities discovered early this month the battered body of Demafelis inside a freezer in the couple's abandoned apartment unit more than a year after her family reported her missing.
Duterte visited Demafelis' wake in Iloilo last week and promised to give justice for her death.
Roque said Duterte wants the National Bureau of Investigation to question Demafelis' recrutiers.
"Because under our scheme, the local recruiters are actually?ultimately liable for what happens to the Filipino deployed by the agencies for overseas. So that’s what the president wants to find out," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS