Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night renewed his vow to visit Kuwait and seek the “maximum” penalty for the suspects involved in the killing of a Filipino worker there.

“In the Middle East, while I talk my heart bleeds. Kaya pupunta talaga ako sa (That’s why I’m really going to) Kuwait. I have to go to Kuwait,” he said in a press briefing in Malacañang after a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Duterte did not bare any name but could have been referring to domestic worker Jeanalyn Villavende who was killed by her employer last December.

He described the murder charges filed against her employers as “good justice”.

“They have arrested the couple and undergoing trial. And while undergoing trial, they are detained inside the jail. To me that is good justice,” he said.

He emphasized that he would want the Kuwaiti government to put the perpetrators to death for their crime.

“If they can follow it through in accordance with their laws, I would ask for the maximum. I want their executioner to cut off the heads of those who are responsible for the death of the Filipina,” he said.

Last January, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said no changes in Duterte’s plans to visit Kuwait have been made so far.

Go said Duterte plans to visit Kuwait sometime March or April.

To recall, Villavende’s murder prompted the government to impose a temporary ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to the Gulf state last January.

The ban was lifted with the filing of charges against the suspects last month.

The Philippines and Kuwaiti governments have also agreed on a template of “a harmonized employment contract” for Filipino domestic workers in the Gulf state.

It contains provisions which include allowing workers to keep their passports and mobile phone; entitling them to a paid full day off per week; no less than an hour break after five consecutive hours of work; and eight hours of consecutive night rest among others.

It also prohibits employers from assigning domestic workers to areas outside Kuwait or to another employer without their written consent.

The murder of domestic worker Joanna Demafelis, along with a series of reported abuse and maltreatment of Filipino domestic workers triggered the crafting of a labor pact on the protection of Filipino workers in Kuwait. (PNA)

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