Kuwait okays joint probe with PH on Filipina worker’s killing

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    FILIPINO investigators will be allowed to work hand in hand with Kuwaiti experts conducting an investigation into the death of Filipina domestic helper Jeanelyn Villavende allegedly in the hands of her employers several months after she arrived to work in the oil-rich kingdom last year.

    Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns Secretary Abdullah Mama-o said Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Ministers Khaled Al-Jarallah made the commitment during a meeting held last January 19 to discuss Villavende’s case and the safety and well-being of the more than 230, 000 Filipinos living and working in Kuwait.

    The meeting was also attended by Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Charge d’Affaires and Consul General Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot.

    “To show Kuwait’s commitment in the case, Deputy Foreign Minister Al-Jarallah said his government is willing to allow investigators from the Philippines to join the investigation in Kuwait of the murder of Jeanelyn Villavende,” Mama-O said.

    He said Al-Jarallah also promised to give justice to Villavende’s family, reiterating that the worker’s employer and his wife, the alleged perpetrators of the killing, remain jailed in Kuwait.

    Mama-o said the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry is expected to release soon the full reports of the police investigation and autopsy on the case.

    An embalmment report from the Sabah Hospital in Kuwait has indicated that Villavende’s death was caused by “acute failure of heart and respiration as result by shock and multiple injuries (in the) vascular nervous system.” It did not mention injuries showing sexual abuse.

    But in an autopsy conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) when Villavende’s remains arrived in the country, examinations showed that Villavende sustained multiple, severe and traumatic injuries which caused her death.

    The autopsy report likewise stated she sustained injuries consistent with sexual abuse.

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the assurances of the Kuwaiti government should not distract the government from pursuing the case to its just conclusion.

    “But not at the price of sweeping the murder case against the two Kuwaiti so called ‘influential’ nationals under the ironically appropriate ‘carpet.’ Two lives for the one they took is non-negotiable, unforgivable and unforgettable,” Locsin said on Twitter.

    Locsin has earlier said the DFA has hired a top-notch Kuwaiti criminal lawyer to represent Villavende’s family in the case.

    The Philippine government has imposed a total deployment ban to Kuwait in the wake of Villavende’s killing.

    There are more than 230,000 Filipinos in Kuwait. Of the figure, 150,000 are working as domestic helpers.