MANILA, Philippines — Based on the Labor Department’s initial investigation, labor authorities confirmed that OWWA officials in Kuwait failed to act on the case of Joanna Demafelis, the Filipina worker who was found dead inside a freezer in her employer’s home.
In fact, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, Friday, confirmed that OWWA officer Maria Sarah Concepcion was already recalled following orders from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
“[Maria Sarah Concepcion] was ordered recalled by the Secretary. When Concepcion comes home, there will be a deeper look into this. And there were three communications sent to the welfare officer in Kuwait. To say the least, they were not acted upon. That is our findings so far and that’s the reason for her recall,” said the Owwa administrator.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) added that there are still other agency officials who are likely to be recalled soon or be relieved from their post once proved that they have been negligent in providing a solution to the increasing number of abuses and murders against Filipino workers in the said gulf state.
“There will be more recalls of our officials there as we go along with our investigation,” said Labor Undersecretary Jing Paras.
OWWA is now looking into other cases of murder against OFWs by their employers in Kuwait.
Meanwhile, regarding his meeting with Kuwaiti officials concerning the murder of Demafelis, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano assured that the Kuwaiti government has expressed its commitment to help in the pursuit and capture of the suspects.
“They said outraged ang gobyerno nila, gagawin nila ang lahat (They said their government is outraged and promises to do everything they can)to bring the accused to justice . Iyong kaniyang (Demafelis’) death is very tragic but will also be a rallying point for all of the government agencies to be more aggressive abroad in helping our OFWs be protected and also dito (here),” said the foreign affairs secretary. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue