Pinoy Abroad


Joanna Demafelis beaten to death —autopsy


Joanna Demafelis, the Filipino worker found in a freezer in Kuwait, died due to the severe beating she suffered allegedly at the hands of her employer, the Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait said Wednesday, citing the autopsy report.

In a report by GMA News' JP Soriano on 24 Oras, Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa said based on the autopsy report, Demafelis had several broken ribs and contusion and trauma in the pelvis and kidney area. She also suffered from internal bleeding.

Several wounds were also found on Demafelis' body, which is expected to be repatriated to the Philippines on Friday, February 16.

"Sinabi rin niya na 'yung beating sa kanya (Demafelis) o pagmaltrato ay hindi nangyari sa isang beses lang kundi, kumbaga, madalas siyang binubugbog," Villa said.

The autopsy also showed that Demafelis, who last communicated with her family in the Philippines in September 2016, was already dead when she was put inside the freezer in November 2016.


The body was found by Kuwaiti authorities last week in an unoccupied apartment unit with the freezer still running.

Villa, citing investigation, said Demafelis' employers, a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife, hid the body in the freezer before fleeing the apartment.

"Kasi ang nangyari pala ganito. Ang employer, 'di ba umalis sila, sumibat sila ng Kuwait? Bago sila umalis gusto nilang pagtakpan 'yung kanilang ginawa," Villa said, adding the employers reported to authorities that Demafelis had escaped.

"Ni-report pa nila si Joanna na nag-abscond o tumakas sa bahay nila noong November 6, 2016," Villa said.

Manhunt operations have already been launched by Kuwaiti law enforcement authorities against Demafelis' former employers. Kuwait's Minister of Interior has asked Interpol to look for the couple in Lebanon and Syria.

The discovery of Demafelis' body prompted the Philippine government to ban the deployment of new workers to Kuwait. Prior to the ban, the deployment was suspended due to reports of abuses on Filipino workers.

On Wednesday afternoon, Villa went to Al-Sabah Hospital to view Demafelis' remains as part of the Philippine Embassy’s preparations for the repatriation.

Villa said he was again assured by Kuwaiti authorities that they are doing their best to locate and arrest Demafelis' former employers. —KBK, GMA News