New Kuwaiti autopsy on slain OFW: Abuse began in October

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:13 PM January 28, 2020
The body of slain OFW Jeanelyn Villavende at NAIA (Photo from the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs)

The body of slain OFW Jeanelyn Villavende at NAIA (Photo from the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs)

MANILA,  Philippines— A new autopsy report from Kuwait has shown that slain overseas Filipino worker Jeanelyn Villavende was the victim of abuse two months before her death in December last year.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola disclosed this during  Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate committee on labor headed by  Senator  Joel Villanueva.


Arriola clarified that the first communication that the Philippine government got from Kuwait stating that  Villavende supposedly died of “acute failure of heart was actually a death certificate and not an autopsy report.

“Essentially your honor, I  read the NBI (National Bureau of  Investigation) report and I read also this report. There are some similarities but I’m not an expert…” she told the committee.


“But I think quite interesting here is the contents of the prosecutors’ memorandum that the abuse began in October,” she added.

Arriola submitted a copy of the autopsy report from Kuwait to the committee.

But  Labor Secretary  Silvestre Bello III  suspected a cover-up on the first report from Kuwait, which prompted the NBI to conduct its own autopsy.

The  NBI autopsy later revealed that  Villavende was sexually abused.

Bello, who was also in the hearing,  said the NBI’s medico-legal officer who conducted the re-autopsy, turned emotional when he saw the results of the NBI report.

“Parang naiiyak  yung ating medico legal kasi sabi nya kung titingnan  mo yung tao , yung babae,   sabi nya hindi lang yan minaltrato  ng lima o  sampung araw,  mga  minaltrato yan ng mga limang  buwan,”  he said.

So when he met the ambassador of Kuwait, Bello said he relayed his suspicion that the first report sent by Kuwait to the Philippines did not look like an autopsy but rather,  a  coverup report.


This was probably the reason why, he said, the Kuwaiti government conducted another autopsy.

Bello then told the committee that the NBI conducted a re-autopsy on the victim.

Dr. Ricardo Rodaje, chief medico-legal of NBI,   presented to the panel the results of the re-autopsy conducted last January 9, which confirmed the NBI’s earlier findings that Villavende was a victim of sexual abuse.

The NBI re-autopsy also revealed that some of her wounds had been inflicted two to three days or “within her stay”  with her employers.

Villavende came to Kuwait as a household service worker in July 2019.

Ferdinand Lavin, NBI  deputy director, initially requested  the committee to  hold a closed-door hearing on the  NBI’s re-autopsy report, as the photos, he said, are “very  disturbing,” and “highly revolting.”

Lavin’s request was supported by Rodaje.

“And we don’t want to agitate the situation and in respect  of the dignity  of  the family…” Rodaje said.

Edited by MUF

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Foreign relations, Jeanelyn Villavende, Kuwait, Labor, Murder, OFW, Sexual abuse
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.