The Philippines is one of the active exporters of overseas workers abroad and contractual businesses. This is already a norm for each Filipino household because there are at least one or two members are currently working in other countries to feed their families. Even in the business environment, Filipino workers are sent by their companies to either study or to work with the company in other parts of the world. This is considered as a privilege for every Filipino. This is because they are able to experience the life of becoming an overseas worker away from their home. The only challenge is the safety and welfare of Filipinos working abroad.
This is the case of Joanna Demafelis who worked as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) in abroad. She chose Kuwait because she applied for an agency that has linked with the employment institutions in the country. For Joanna, this is an opportunity that is waiting to improve her lifestyle. This is as well have the chance to improve the socio-economic livelihood of her family. The only thing was that Joanna was one of the few Filipinos working abroad who unexpectedly went into the hands of an employer with a harsh personality. She significantly suffered both physical and verbal abuse by the family who employed her as a household assistant or helper.
|Joana Demafelis and her employers Muna Hasoun and Nadeef Essam Assaf|
Agnes Tuballes surrendered to the PNP (Philippine National Police) for the purpose of clearing her name. She was the person who referred Joanna Demafelis to Mount Carmel in order to work abroad. Upon the press conference of the PNP, Tuballes indicated that she is not the recruiter of Joanna Demafelis and was just a referrer of her. Agnes herself is also a victim of false accusations due to superficial reports that she was the alleged responsible individual who brought Joanna to Kuwait. Agnes is extending her condolences to the family and a public apology regarding the unfortunate incident that may have caused.
The PNP sought the cooperation of the Kuwaiti Police right after Joanna's body was recovered. It was found out that the former employes of Joanna, which are Muna Hasoun and Nadeef Essam Assaf are responsible for her demise. Both the PNP and the Kuwaiti's Police Department quickly sought the participation of the International Police of Interpol to conduct search operations to other countries. Upon investigation, it has been determined that the suspects left Kuwait. The couple filed the name of Joanna in the missing person's list as well as declared a paycheck for the duration of Joanna's employment in their household.
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1. Joanna Demafelis was the breadwinner of the family. As the eldest in the family, Joanna worked in Manila for hopes that she could bring a greener pasture to her family. This is a typical nature for all breadwinners to take responsibility for pursuing the best pastures for their family's needs in their lifetime. In this case, her family was thankful for having her. This is because she was so kind, patient, and would sacrifice anything for her family. Joanna just wants to bring the best lifestyle for her family. This is a typical nature of Filipinos, showing the natural bond between family members.
2. Joanna was an OFW in Kuwait. On November 13, 2013, Mega Typhoon Haiyan or locally known as Yolanda hit the Philippines. The storm brushed the whole Visayas archipelago of the Philippines, affecting Joanna's home in Iloilo. The storm destroyed their house. Joanna decided to work abroad because she knew that there is a bigger opportunity for her abroad. She went to Kuwait in 2014 and then started working as a household assistant. She then began to send money to rebuild their house as well as to send her siblings to school.
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3. Her body was found in the freezer for one year. Joanna's family called the police to report that there was no communication from her for almost a year. The Department of Foreign affairs conducted a search operation to Joanna. Upon police investigation, they found out that Joanna was stuffed inside a freezer. Her former employers already fled the apartment one year ago in 2017 and nowhere to be found. The apartment was either abandoned or currently vacant for the next occupant when the police arrived at the scene. The owner of the apartment was in shock to know that one of the units is hiding a gruesome discovery.
4. Employers are the prime suspects. Joanna's former and last employers are the main suspects in the crime. They are a couple; namely, Muna Hassoun and Nadeef Essam Assaf. The couple was arrested in Damascus, Syria with the coordination of the International Police. Upon interrogation, Nadeef admitted that he was the accomplice by stuffing the body into the freezer after her wife brutally assaulted their employee. He also admitted that his wife was jealous of Joanna, thinking that they are having an affair or risk of going to have that particular issue.
5. The family is seeking justice for Joanna Demafelis. After the recovery and repatriation of Joanna's body back to the Philippines, the Demafelis family was heartbroken to see that their family member returned back home in a coffin. They are now asking the government to file a criminal complaint against their family member's demise. The Philippine government and Kuwait's judicial department promised to solve the case before the law. It is expected that if found guilty, the couple might be imprisoned for 14 years based on Kuwaiti's laws with a possibility of a shorter term if their lawyers will do a good job to the case.
Rest in Peace for Joana Demafelis. Condolence to the bereaved Demafeliz family in Iloilo.
Question: Do you want to help Joanna Demafelis in order to seek justice?
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