Romualdez: Conviction of Ranara’s killer a recognition of OFWs’ importance
MANILA, Philippines — The conviction of the 17-year-old individual behind the killing of overseas Filipino worker Jullebee Ranara, who was killed, burned, and then left in a desert in Kuwait, is an affirmation of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) importance to Middle Eastern nations, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Friday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced late Thursday night that a Kuwaiti court has convicted Turki Ayed Al-Azmi, the son of Ranara’s employer who killed her in January 2023.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for murder and one year for driving without license.
“This is also a recognition of the importance of OFWs in the Arab states and beyond. We help keep together these foreign homes, we help build their impressive edifices, and we take care of their elderly and sick when nobody else is willing to,” Romualdez said.
“We thank the authorities in Kuwait — from its police force to its court — for helping serve justice in the case of our kababayan, Jullebee Ranara,” Romualdez said.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said the sentences were reduced because the killer was a minor. After Ranara was killed, authorities discovered her body burned and buried in a desert last January 21, 2023.
Aside from Romualdez, several lawmakers have also lauded the Kuwaiti court’s decision. In a statement on Friday, Kabayan party-list Rep. Ron Salo said that the incident should serve as a reminder to the government — that it should work towards ensuring that such incidents do not happen again.
OFW party-list Rep. Marissa Magsino said they welcome the delivery of justice to Ranara’s bereaved family.
She, however, noted that the concerns regarding the safety of OFWs are still present.
“The long arm of the law has given justice to Jullebee Ranara and her bereaved family. Though her family still has to contend with the deep loss of their loved one, it is our hope that the justice achieved through the court’s decision will somehow lessen the sting of the wounds they carry,” Magsino said in a separate statement.