The 17-year-old suspect in the killing of a 35-year-old Filipino domestic worker in Kuwait is now under police custody, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople said Tuesday.
“Well, inaresto na, nasa custody na ng Kuwaiti police ‘yung anak ng employer na siyang primary suspect sa pagpatay kay Jullebee Ranara,” Ople said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.
(Well, the son of the employer who is the primary suspect in the killing of Jullebee Ranara has been arrested and is now under the custody of the Kuwaiti police.)
She said they learned the age of the suspect from a media report as they are still waiting for the official police report.
“Nakalagay doon 17 (it's stated there, 17),” Ople said.
Ranara’s burned body was found on Sunday in the desert. Her family said they were in contact with her until Friday evening.
“According doon sa nanay, ang nirereklamo ni Jullebee ‘yung anak ng employer na lalaki. ‘Yun daw ‘yung malupit sa kanya. In fact, may isang time daw na parang binantaan daw ‘yung buhay niya,” Ople said.
(The mother said that Jullebee was complaining about the son of the employer. She said he was the one who treated her harshly. In fact, there was a time when he seemingly threatened her life.)
Asked if the suspect being a minor will affect his liability, Ople said the government will look into this.
“‘Yun ang aalamin natin. Anong batas ba ang iiral kapag minor,” she said.
The DMW chief said the government will also extend death and burial assistance, mandatory insurance, and scholarships to Ranara’s four children.
She said the family also requested privacy.
“Ang request din ng pamilya, kung pwedeng may kaunting discretion. Sa kanila naman ayaw nila mag-grant ng interviews kasi gusto nila ng privacy habang nagdadalamhati sila,” Ople said.
(That’s the request of the family if there could be discretion. They don’t want to grant interviews because they want privacy while they are grieving.)
Meanwhile, Ople said that a deployment ban is not needed.
“Hindi namin nakikita na kailangan ‘yun dahil nakikipagtulungan ang Kuwaiti government sa ating embahada and wala pa ngang 24 oras nasa police custody na ‘yung suspect,” she said.
(We don’t see the need for a deployment ban because the Kuwaiti government is working with our embassy. And it hasn’t been 24 hours, but the suspect is now under police custody.)
She said they should instead talk about possible reforms and bilateral labor agreements.
?“So balak namin sundin din ang formula namin with Saudi Arabia na ipapasok sa kontrata, ipapasok sa labor agreement, mas maraming garantya para sa seguridad ng ating workers,” she said.
(So we plan to follow our formula with Saudi Arabia where there will be contracts, labor agreements, and there will be more guarantees for the safety of our workers.)
Former President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered a deployment ban to Kuwait following the killing of Filipina domestic worker Joanna Daniela Demafelis in 2018.
In February 2020, the Philippine government lifted the deployment ban on Filipino migrant workers to Kuwait.—AOL, GMA Integrated News