MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to summon the agency that recruited slain overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced the summon order n Saturday, February 24, a day after it was announced that the principal suspect in Demafelis’ murder was arrested in Lebanon.
“PRRD asked NBI to summon [the recruiters],” Roque said.
Demafelis was recruited locally by Our Lady of Mt Carmel Global E-Human Resources, Incorporated.
The Blas Ople Policy Center, a non-governmental organization (NGO) on labor and migration affairs, earlier said that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has revoked the license of the recruitment agency, making it harder to bring them to the legal process. (READ: After OFW deaths, DOLE creates command center for abuse cases)
Demafelis was found dead inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.
Lebanese Nader Essam Assaf was arrested in Lebanon, while his wife Mona is believed to be in Syria.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he expects Kuwait to request Assaf’s extradition “so he could stand trial in Kuwait.”
“We’re thankful but hoping that they will be prosecuted and punished soonest,” Roque said.
Duterte had earlier cited Demafelis’ murder, along with other cases of abuse of Filipino workers in Kuwait, to order a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait. – Rappler.com