KUWAIT: The Philippine Embassy’s Charge d’affaires Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot confirmed that the remains of Filipina domestic helper Constancia Lago Dayag will be flown back to Manila today morning. Dayag was brought to Sabah Hospital in the afternoon of May 14 from Qairawan and pronounced dead on arrival.

Initial reports published by several papers in the Philippines said Dayag’s body bore various contusions and hematoma and signs of sexual assault. But according to the results of preliminary investigations published in local newspapers, Dayag’s death was of natural causes and there are no criminal suspicions.

“Through our strong representation, our request to shift the body out of Kuwait as soon as possible was granted,” Lomondot said in a press statement yesterday. He was instructed by the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Undersecretary for Migrant Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola to accompany Dayag’s remains. “Her body will be flown back tomorrow by the 2 am KU417 flight. Arrival in the Philippines will be at 4 pm,” he said.

Lomondot affirmed the forensic investigation is almost done and that gathering DNA and other necessary evidence is completed, so the body was permitted to be sent to Manila. “As per diplomatic procedure, the report will go through the proper channel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is in charge, so once the report by forensic experts (comprising of MoI and MoH experts) is issued, it will be channeled to MFA, and MFA will hand it over to the embassy. As we speak, we haven’t got the complete report yet,” he explained.

Dayag’s next of kin want her remains to be sent back to Manila so they can file for a second autopsy in Philippines. “What I heard is that the next of kin want a second autopsy to be conducted by our National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila. There is nothing wrong with that. Probably the family of Dayag wants to make sure there is no foul play in the death of their loved one. So that is the right thing to do, which the embassy also supports,” he added.
Lomondot said they were informed by authorities in Kuwait that they invited and questioned the employer of Dayag, and the employer informed them that he was surprised by the death of his domestic helper inside her room. “The male employer was summoned and questioned about the death of her housemaid. He is an elderly and sickly man in a wheelchair, so how could a sexual assault be present in this case – we don’t know.

The authorities have not slapped any charges against the employer. What is clear is that Dayag was found dead inside her room with blood oozing from her nose,” he said. Sources said investigations by detectives showed the relationship between the maid and her sponsor and his sons was good and there were no problems between them.

Last year, Kuwait and the Philippines signed a memorandum of agreement to provide greater protection for Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait. Manila set the agreement with Kuwait as a condition to end its deployment ban, a move triggered by a string of deaths of Philippine migrant workers in the state, including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer.

By Ben Garcia