Kuwaiti employer sentenced to death for killing Filipino worker

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 31, 2020   •   574

A Kuwaiti employer is sentenced to death for being guilty of killing Filipino worker Jeanelyn Villavende, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait announced.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait said that the Kuwaiti Criminal Court on Wednesday (December 30) sentenced Villavende’s woman employer to death by hanging for torturing Villavende.

Her husband, meanwhile, was sentenced to four years of imprisonment for covering up and not reporting the crime.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait expressed its gratitude to the Kuwaiti Court for the decision and thanked all the officials who helped in seeking justice for Villavende.

“May the court’s decision on the Villavende murder case serve as a reminder to everyone that no Filipino is a slave to anyone, anywhere and everywhere, and that justice will always come to the defense of the weak and the oppressed,” the statement reads.

Villavende died on December 28, 2019 after her employer tortured her for weeks and killed her.

Due to the incident, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued a total ban on the deployment of workers in Kuwait. This was eventually lifted in January 2020 after charges were filed against the employers. AAC

PH urges Filipinos in the US to exercise ‘utmost caution’ amid rise in anti-Asian attacks

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Embassy in Washington has cautioned Filipinos in the United States (US) to stay safe and vigilant amid rising incidents of anti-Asian attacks in various parts of the US. 

The Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also called on the local authorities in the US to further ensure the protection of Asian Americans, including Filipinos.

“The Philippine Embassy and Consulates General in the United States appreciate the swift action taken by a number of local authorities to apprehend perpetrators of these attacks. However, we call on federal, state, and local authorities to further ensure the protection of persons of Asian descent, including Filipinos,” the DFA said.

Among the reports concerning violence against those of Asian descent include the case of Filipino-American Noel Quintana who was slashed in the face by a fellow subway passenger early February this year.

Filipinos in the US have been advised to immediately call 911 if they experience an attack. AAC

Sec. Locsin orders halt of blood money over death of Jeanelyn Villavende in Kuwait

Marje Pelayo   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) maintains that the Philippine government will not accept the offer of P7.5 million blood money from the family of the employer of Jeanelyn Villavende.

Villavende was the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was sexually assaulted and brutally killed in Kuwait in December 2019.

In a tweet, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin ordered the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait to stop processing the blood money payout for Villavende’s demise.

Villavende’s female employer was sentenced to death for the crime.

Based on the law in the Middle East, the convict may offer the victim’s family blood money in exchange for his or her life.

Locsin wants Embassy officials to ensure that the Kuwait court’s sentence will be served.

The DFA chief said the Philippine government can and should provide for the blood money to help Villavende’s family.

Locsin warns anyone on the side of the Philippines who will attempt to defer the sentence.

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte requested the Kuwaiti government to impose the heaviest punishment on Jeanelyn’s employers.

It can be recalled, as well, that this case prompted the Philippines to enforce a total ban on deployment of OFWs to Kuwait.

Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III supports Locsin that the government should provide for the family of Villavende.

Bello added that the government may also raise money similar to what it did to save the life of an OFW who was sentenced for the murder of his employer and the government was able to raise P30 million pesos as blood money.

“I agree with that para wala ng blood money kasi the blood money  does not give justice to the parents of Jeanelyn Villavende,” Secretary Bello said.

To date, the total ban of OFWs to Kuwait remains in effect due to continuous reports of violations such as nonpayment of salary, abuse, and employers who are taking the passports and cellphones of OFWs by force. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

PH Embassy in US urges Filipinos to avoid areas with massive protests

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 8, 2021

The Philippine Embassy in the United States has warned Filipinos in Washington D.C. to avoid areas with massive protests to ensure their safety.

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez reminded Filipinos residing in the U.S. capital and other nearby areas to steer clear from protest and remain vigilant until the tension eased.

Simula ngayon hanggang sa paghupa ng public emergency, pinapayuhan namin ang mga Pilipino, iyong mga nakatira, nagta-trabaho, pumupunta sa Washington D.C. at mga kalapit na lugar na palaging mag-ingat at maging mapagmasid sa kanilang paligid (From now until the public emergency has subsided, we advise Filipinos residing, working, or visiting Washington D.C. and nearby areas to be careful and be alert of their surroundings), he said.

Iwasan din ang mga lugar kung saan may kilos-protesta at malaking pagtitipon at sumunod sa mga emergency measure na ipinatutupad ng mga otoridad (Avoid areas with protests and mass gatherings, as well as, follow emergency measures implemented by authorities), he added.

This is after several protestors breached the US Capitol in a bid to stop Congress from officially declaring Joe Biden’s victory over former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Malacañang already instructed the PH Embassy in the U.S. to continue monitoring the situation especially if there is a Filipino that is injured or affected by possible violence during one of the protests. AAC

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