PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte yesterday visited the wake of slain Kuwait overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis in her hometown in Sara, Iloilo, and sought to console her family with the assurance that somehow the perpetrators of her gruesome death would not go unpunished.
Duterte talked lengthily with Demafelis’ parents Eva and Crisanto in their home in Barangay Feraris.
“Karma na ‘yan (karma will catch up with them),” Duterte said of the suspects in Demafelis’ death during his conversation with her parents.
Duterte has been lashing out at Kuwait for the death of Demafelis and several other OFWs, some of whom died after enduring physical abuse from their employers in the Gulf state.
Demafelis was found in a freezer at an abandoned apartment in Kuwait earlier this month, more than a year since she went missing. Investigation found signs of abuse.
The Philippine government recently imposed a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to the Gulf state, home to about 252,000 Filipino workers
The government said the ban would continue to be imposed until Kuwait agrees to sign a bilateral agreement with the Philippines that would ensure greater protection for migrant Filipino workers there.
Duterte also slammed Kuwait for not recognizing the Philippines’ help during the Gulf War, which erupted when Iraq invaded and annexed the state in the early ’90s.
The Philippines had sent medical personnel to Kuwait during the war.
“Ito ba ‘yung kabayaran ng pinakita namin sa inyo? Nagpunta kami, nakipag-away, eh giyera ‘yun ng Amerika,” Duterte said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Duterte administration would continue to demand that Kuwait bring to justice the suspects in Demafelis’ killing — her employers, a Lebanese and Syrian couple.