Total deployment ban up in Kuwait

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    THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) yesterday approved the imposition of a total deployment ban for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Kuwait following the death of a Filipina worker who was beaten and sexually abused by her employer.

    The POEA Governing Board approved the proposal made by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to prohibit the sending of all Filipino workers to the Arab country.

    “On recommendation of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the POEA Governing Board has just approved a resolution imposing a total ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait,”

    DOLE – Information and Publication Service (IPS) Director Rolly Francia told reporters.

    No other details, including a copy of the POEA resolution, were immediately available.

    The Philippine government has initially imposed a partial deployment ban for newly-hired household service workers to Kuwait following the killing of Filipina domestic helper, Jeanelyn Villavende. An embalmment report from a Kuwaiti hospital indicated that she suffered from maltreatment.

    Wednesday’s decision to impose a total deployment ban comes after the release of the autopsy report of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Villavende’s remains.

    The NBI autopsy report said the brain and heart of Villavende were missing and that the cause of her death was “consistent with multiple, severe, traumatic injuries.”
    The report likewise indicated she was sexually abused, noting injuries in her anus and external genitalia.

    Villavende’s body likewise showed she sustained numerous contusions and hematoma at the “occipital area with severe deep scalp tissue damage.” There were also abrasions on her neck and contused abrasions on her face, ear, arm, elbow and hand, and her right and left lower extremity and posterior aspect had contusions.

    The autopsy was conducted by NBI Chief Medico-Legal Officer Ricardo Rodaje.

    ‘EYE FOR AN EYE’

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said an “eye for an eye” justice should be meted to the killers of Villavende.

    “POEA wants to use the torture and murder of OFW Jeanelyn Villavende as leverage to get Kuwait to sign on to labor standards. Signing on doesn’t mean observing in Middle East. I will not use Jeanelyn as a leverage. I want an eye for an eye – 2, 3 Kuwaiti lives for a Filipino life, that’s all,” Locsin said on his Twitter account.

    Locsin said a total ban on the deployment of domestic helpers to Kuwait will not do justice to Villavende: “POEA proposes a total deployment ban to Kuwait after the President said

    ‘No’ to media because he is satisfied that Kuwaiti authorities acted swiftly arresting, detaining and arraigning the murderers. Give Kuwait time. At first hint of stalling: total ban. Say 2 weeks.”

    “Once a total ban is declared, Kuwait will live with it and Jeanelyn will be unavenged and all we’ll have is a piece of paper that Filipino recruiters, in connivance with Filipino officials, will treat exactly as that: a piece of paper. I am sick of standards. I want blood,” Locsin said. – With Ashzel Hachero