Pinoy Abroad

Filipina found dead in Kuwait; DMW’s Ople vows justice

Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople on Monday vowed justice for slain overseas Filipino worker Jullebee Ranara as she condoles with the grieving family of the OFW. 

According to the DMW, the burned body of the 35-year old domestic worker was found on Sunday in the desert. The agency said Kuwaiti authorities have arrested the son of the victim's employer.

Ople, for her part, already reached out to the family of the victim.

Ople vowed to provide assistance to the family of Ranara. At present, the DMW is waiting for the official report on the incident from foreign authorities.

The family of the victim is requesting privacy as they grieve the death of Ranara, the DMW said.

The DMW condemned the heinous crime and called on the Kuwaiti government to work on the early resolution of the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Aside from the DMW, the Department of Foreign Affairs is also monitoring developments on the case and working as well with Kuwaiti authorities. 

Ranara's death is the latest of Fililpino fatalities in Kuwait in the recent years.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte earlier directed the OFW deployment ban to Kuwait following the killing of Filipina domestic worker Joanna Daniela Demafelis in 2018.

Demafelis was found in a freezer at an abandoned apartment in the Gulf state. Reports said Demafelis' employers, a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife, hid the body in the freezer before fleeing the apartment.

Duterte then appealed to Arab nations to treat Filipino workers with dignity and respect.

A partial lifting of the ban took place in May 2018 after the signing of the protection deal for overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state.

But in May 2019, the Labor Department said 47-year-old overseas Filipino worker Constancia Lago Dayag died at the hands of her employer


also in Kuwait.

In 2020, it was reported that Jeanelyn Villavende was killed by her female employer in Kuwait due to jealousy on December 28, 2019.

Results of the autopsy made by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health showed that the victim died after multiple organ failure following severe beating.

Reports said Villavende’s female employer was served the death penalty while her husband was charged with 4-year imprisonment for covering up and not reporting the crime.

Ban lifted

In February 2020, the Philippine government lifted the deployment ban of Filipino migrant workers to Kuwait.

Then- Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III made the announcement after the Kuwaiti government conceded to the conditions set by the Philippines during a board meeting at the time.

The Kuwaiti government has already met one of the conditions set by the Philippines, which is to file charges against the employers of Villavende.

Bello also said that Kuwaiti officials have agreed to craft a harmonized standard employment contract for Filipino workers.

Under the new contract, Filipino workers will be allowed to take one day off with pay each week. The contract will also state the designated working and sleeping hours of the worker.

Over the weekend, the DMW said it was looking to repatriate all distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait by the end of January

Of the 421  distressed Kuwait OFWs, the DWM had repatriated 142  since January 17, 2023. — Anna Felicia Bajo/RSJ, GMA Integrated News