House urges probe of gov’t migration policies
The Makabayan bloc has filed a resolution urging the House of Representatives to look into the government’s policies protecting migrant workers in the wake of the grisly murder of a Filipino domestic helper in Kuwait.
The militant lawmakers said the killing of Jullebee Ranara was a grim reminder for the government to work better in generating local employment and to stop sending overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to shore up the economy.
The 17-year-old son of Ranara’s employers had reportedly owned up to her killing and the burning of her body, which was found dumped in a desert on Jan. 22.
Reports said the 35-year-old OFW was raped and impregnated by the suspect, who had been arrested by Kuwaiti authorities.
“Ranara is alarmingly the fourth Filipina who suffered a gruesome death in the hands of Kuwaiti employers in recent years,” the Makabayan lawmakers said in filing House Resolution No. 726.
“Such series of brutal killings of OFWs in Kuwait persisted despite the imposition of temporary deployment bans and despite the signing of the memorandum of understanding on the deployment of migrant workers between the Philippines and Kuwait in 2018,” they said.
The resolution was filed by Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro.
The lawmakers asked the House overseas workers affairs committee to summon the Philippine embassy officials in Kuwait and other government officials tasked with safeguarding OFWs.
Members of the Gabriela party list conducted a candlelight vigil along Timog Ave., Quezon City, to demand justice for Ranara on Friday, the same day her remains were repatriated.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait on Wednesday announced that the suspect confessed to the crime and that Ranara was already pregnant at the time of her murder.
In response to the gruesome slaughter, Brosas demanded that the government provide aid and assistance for Ranara’s family as they waited for the resolution for her case.
“We must be vigilant and make sure that the government will give help to Jullebee’s family so that they are given justice,” Brosas said.
The group’s deputy secretary general Cora Agovida, for her part, slammed the government’s “labor export policy,” which allegedly burden Filipino women like Ranara.
Diplomacy, not ban, eyed
“From Flor Contemplacion back in 1995 to Jullebee Ranara now, the Filipino women migrant workers who have been killed are countless. But the government is still relentless with its labor export policy,” Agovida said.
Despite clamors to review labor policy, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople, however does not see the need to implement a deployment ban and prefers to settle through diplomacy.
“We appreciate the good intentions behind the calls to impose a deployment ban to Kuwait,” the migrant chief said in a statement on Thursday. “But I have always believed in social dialogue as the all-important first step in resolving labor migration concerns.”
2nd autopsy sought
Meanwhile, after Ranara’s remains were repatriated on Friday, her family had requested Philippine authorities to further examine her body after autopsy results raised questions surrounding her death.
On Friday, Kuwaiti ambassador in Manila, Musaed Saleh Althwaikh, also wrote a letter to Ranara’s mother promising her daughter’s justice.
The National Bureau of Investigation will be performing the second autopsy on Ranara’s remains, Ople said at a press briefing.
Ople said she has not seen official documents describing the circumstances of her death or that which would confirm if she was with child.
Female OFW slain, burned and abandoned in desert of Kuwait, says DMW
Remains of slain OFW Jullebee Ranara now in PH
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