ACTS-OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz
MANILA, Philippines — ACTS-OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz has expressed fears over Kuwait government’s death sentence against the employer of Joanna Demafelis, the overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) found dead inside a freezer in Kuwait.
The solon said the Philippine government should not be complacent because it might just be Kuwait’s attempt to pacify public rage over her death.
Bertiz cited that the case of two foreign nationals sentenced to death by the Kuwaiti government in January 2016 but later dismissed due to a conflict in international laws.
This might also happen to the case of Joana since the suspects are not Kuwaiti nationals.
“Apat na bansa po ang involved — Philippines, Syria, Lebanon, and Kuwait. That death penalty can only be imposed if both countries will agree to extradite or bring the alleged killer to Kuwait para mahatulan ang sinasabing hatol ng kamatayan,” said the lawmaker.
(Four countries are involved — the Philippines, Syria, Lebanon, and Kuwait. That death penalty can only be imposed if both countries will agree to extradite or bring the alleged killer to Kuwait to impose the death sentence.)
Bertiz also questioned why the Philippine Embassy in Lebanon and Syria has not received any information up to now.
Based on the report of the Kuwaiti government, it was the Interpol who arrested the two suspects —Nader Essam Assaf and his wife Mouna Hassoun in Syria.
Nader and Mouna were turned over to Lebanese and Syrian authorities respectively.
The lawmaker noted that the Interpol also failed to give a report to the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the arrests.
“This is the reason why I urge our government to form a joint task force of DFA and DOJ para malaman natin kung totoo bang nasa kustodiya ng Lebanon authorities ang suspect na ito,” said Bertiz.
(This is the reason why I urge our government to form a joint task force of DFA and DOJ for us to know it if it is true that the suspects are in the custody of Lebanese authorities.)
Bertiz also called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to study further the deployment ban in Kuwait until death sentence was imposed on the suspects.
“Ang nakakatakot kasi niyan yung mga sinabi na nahuli na tapos wala pala. Ibig sabihin ginagawa tayong uto-uto ng Kuwaiti government. Huwag naman natin madaliin na i-lift agad ang ban,” said the lawmaker.
(What’s vexing is when they say the perpetrators have been arrested and it turns out to be untrue. It means the Kuwaiti government is just leading us on. Let’s not rush into lifting the ban.) — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue