Total deployment ban to Kuwait ‘still holds’ – Palace exec
The Philippine government’s total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait would stay despite a Kuwaiti court’s handing of death sentence against the couple accused of killing overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis.
In a press briefing, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the ban “still holds” until the country finally seals an agreement with the Gulf state that would ensure protection of OFWs in Kuwait.
“The agreement – that still holds… the total ban on sending OFWs to Kuwait is still on. But of course an agreement, a memorandum of understanding is being formulated and hopefully… the state parties will come to terms as to how our OFWs in Kuwait as well as in other Middle Eastern countries will be protected,” Guverra said.
“So basically that will be a solution to this ban, this total ban about sending OFWs to Kuwait,” he added.
Nevertheless, the Palace official said the Philippine government is “happy” with the court’s decision, if officially confirmed by Kuwait, and described it as a step towards justice for Demafelis’ death.
“Well of course the President and the, I suppose, the entire Filipino people will be happy to know that that is true ‘no. Siyempre (Of course) that’s what we want—justice for Demafelis,” Guevarra said in a press briefing.
“So let’s hope that in fact that is true and that the couple will actually be apprehended and brought to the bars of justice,” he added.
Agence France-Presse reported on Sunday that a Kuwaiti court sentenced in absentia a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife to death by hanging over the murder of Demafelis.
Early this year, Kuwaiti authorities found Demafelis stuffed inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment. Demafelis’ body was believed kept in the compartment for more than a year.
The brutal death of Demafelis prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to order the total ban on the deployment ban Filipino workers to Kuwait, straining diplomatic relations between the two states. /kga
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