MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Rene Villa said the remains of overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis, whose discovery in a freezer prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to order a ban on new deployments to the Middle East state, will be sent home Friday following the completion of the autopsy.
Villa, who went to the Al-Sabah Hospital Wednesday to view Demafelis’ remains as part of the Philippine embassy’s preparations for the repatriation, said Kuwaiti authorities again offered assurances they are doing their best to locate and arrest the murdered worker’s Lebanese employer and his Syrian wife.
In a television interview, Villa said the autopsy showed Demafelis was beaten and tortured repeatedly, and was already dead when stored in the freezer.
He said Kuwait was also “shocked and angered” by Demafelis’ fate.
“Na-shock din ang Kuwait sa krimeng ito at matindi rin ang galit nila sa nangyaring ito at sana nga ay mahuli na sa Lebanon man o sa Syria ang mag-asawang ito (Kuwait authorities were also shocked and angered by this incident and hope that Lebanon or Syria would arrest the couple),” Villa said.
The body of Demafelis, believed to have been kept inside the freezer for more than a year, was found by Kuwaiti authorities who were originally on their way to serve a court order to evict the apartment tenant. Reports indicated her employer, wanted for a series of bouncing check cases, and his wife may have left in 2016.