MANILA: Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr yesterday demanded justice to be served for a Filipina maid who was allegedly murdered by her employer’s wife in Kuwait. The Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also slammed the death of Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende, Philippine media reported.
“The friendship between your country which gives our people the jobs they cannot find at home and our people whose faithful service makes the life of your people easier depends on justice being done the murdered maid. An eye for an eye, a life for a life,” Locsin told Kuwait’s Ambassador to Manila Musaed Saleh Ahmad Al-Thwaikh during their meeting yesterday.
“In short. She bashed her head. So I want the head of the employer’s wife who murdered their Filipina maid,” Locsin later said in a tweet. The minister also vowed to go after Filipino recruiters and government officials for putting the slain Filipina “in harm’s way”. “I beg you to give her justice. We will go after the Filipino recruiters and government officials who put her in harm’s way,” Locsin told the Kuwaiti ambassador.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Philippine government is offended over the killing. “The labor department is deeply saddened and outraged over the violent death of Filipino worker Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende at the hands of her Kuwaiti employer,” he said in a statement. “The case is a clear violation of the agreement signed by both Kuwait and the Philippines in 2018 that seeks to uphold and promote the protection of the rights and welfare of our workers in the Gulf state,” the DOLE chief added.
At the same time, Bello urged for the immediate resolution of the death of the household service worker. “The department looks forward to the swift resolution of the case and that justice will be served to Villavende and her family,” he said. The DOLE head also assured that assistance will be provided to the family of the Filipino worker. “The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will provide burial and livelihood assistance, as well as scholarships to the family members of Villavende,” Bello added.
In Feb 2018, the Philippines imposed a total deployment ban on Kuwait after authorities found inside a freezer the body of domestic helper Joanna Demafelis, who was killed by her employers. The ban was lifted three months later after Manila and Kuwait signed an agreement on the protection of overseas Filipino workers. The employer of Demafilis was later found guilty of murder.
In May 2018, another maid died at the hands of her employer. Constancia Dayag, 47, was reportedly found with her body covered in bruises and with a “cucumber” inside her private parts, according to the Philippine media. She was rushed to the Sabah Hospital but was declared dead on arrival. – Agencies