The family of a Filipina whose remains were found in a freezer in Kuwait is demanding justice.
“I am appealing for government’s help in seeking justice for my daughter’s death,” Eva Demafelis, the mother of Joanna Daniela Demafelis, was quoted as saying by ABS-CBN News.
Demafelis, 29, a native of Iloilo, went to Kuwait in 2014 to support her family. She last spoke to them between 2016 and 2017, according to reports.
Family members are seeking help from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Authorities in Kuwait have been looking after a suspect behind Demafelis’ death. According to Philippine ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa, authorities are coordinating with the Interpol to locate the suspect.
Initial investigations revealed that a Lebanese man married to a Syrian woman, along with a Filipina domestic worker previously lived in the apartment where the corpse was found.
The couple has reportedly left Kuwait in 2016 but authorities are also tracking the Lebanese man who also has a case involving bounced cheques.
“Noong umalis pala itong couple na ito, sinabi nila doon sa nagbabantay na huwag buksan iyong flat dahil mayroon silang mahahalagang bagay doon. Nabuksan lang itong flat through a court order dahil marami palang kaso ng bouncing checks ‘yong Lebanese na ‘yon,” Villa said.
Signs of abuse was discovered in the Filipina’s body indicating that she was strangled to death.
A fellow Filipina who lives in the same building as Demafelis said the victim used to share tales of maltreatment she received from her employer.
“Last kami nagkausap September 2016 doon sa may bintana tapos noong bumaba siya, nakita ko siya doon banda tapos tinanong ko siya kumusta siya, sabi niya sa akin hindi daw maganda, kasi daw ang amo niya sinasaktan siya, delayed ang sahod,” said the woman who even offered to bring Demafelis to the Philippine embassy. The latter, fearing reprisal from her employer, hesitated.
“Sabi ko sa kaniya, aalis ka na lang diyan or ihatid kita sa embassy pero hindi siya pumayag kasi takot siya sa amo niya,” said the woman.