News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
10 September 2019

Justice is served!

This was how Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III described the conviction by a Syrian court of the female employer for the murder of Filipino household worker Joanna Demafelis who was found in a freezer inside the former’s rented apartment in Kuwait in February last year.

“We are elated by reports that the female employer of Joanna has been convicted. We believe justice has been served on the gruesome death of our OFW,” Bello said.

He added: “We are thankful to the government of Syria that their brand of justice is accorded to poor Joanna and her family.”

Reports said Demafelis’ employer, Syrian Mouna Ali Hassoun, was found guilty of premeditated murder by a court of first instance in Damascus sometime last month. Once sentencing is rendered, Hassoun will be meted a minimum of eight years to a maximum of 15 years in prison pursuant to Syrian penal laws.

Along with her Labanese husband, Nader Assad, they were arrested in Syria by the International Police in late February 2018 and were sentenced by a Kuwaiti court in absentia and meted the death penalty by hanging. They were believed to have fled Kuwait for Syria about a year before the frozen body of Demafelis was found.

The discovery of the crime prompted President Duterte to order the labor secretary to impose a total ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait. The ban has been lifted a few months after. ###

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Justice is served!

Justice is served! Ito ang pahayag ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III sa naging hatol ng Syrian court sa babaeng employer ng pinaslang na household worker na si Joanna Demafelis na natagpuan sa loob ng freezer sa Kuwait noong Pebrero ng nakaraang taon.

“Kami ay nagagalak sa ulat na nahatulan na ang babaeng employer ni Joanna. Naniniwala kami na nakamit na ang hustisya kaugnay sa pagpatay sa ating kababayang OFW,” wika ni Bello.

Dagdag pa niya: “Nagpapasalamat kami sa gobyerno ng Syria dahil naipaabot nila ang hustisya sa biktimang si Joanna at kanyang pamilya.”

Ayon sa ulat, ang employer ni Demafelis na si Syrian Mouna Ali Hassoun, ay nahatulang guilty ng premeditated murder ng circuit criminal court sa Damascus noong nakaraang buwan. Sa oras na maibigay ang sentensya, si Hassoun ay papatawan nang hindi bababa sa walong taon hanggang sa 15 taong pagkakakulong alinsunod sa penal law ng Syria.

Kasama ng kanyang Labanese na asawa na si Nader Assad, sila ay naaresto sa Syria ng International Police noong Pebrero 2018 at hinatulan ng Kuwaiti court in absentia ng death by hanging. Sinasabing sila ay tumakas sa Kuwait patungong Syria isang taon bago matagpuan ang bangkay ni Demafelis.

Ang pagkakadiskubre sa krimen ang nagtulak kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte upang atasan ang labor secretary na magpatupad ng total ban sa deployment ng mga manggagawa sa Kuwait. Inalis na rin ang naturang ban makaraan ang ilang buwan.

###Paul Ang

 

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