Amid the uproar on the case of the slain overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Jeanelyn Villavende – who was reportedly killed by her employers in Kuwait on 28 December – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday stressed that justice should be served.
During the public hearing on the case conducted by the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development along with the Committee on Foreign Relations, Go stressed that the alleged perpetrators should be brought to justice.
To recall, the autopsy report of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) showed that Villavende was physically and sexually abused for weeks before she was killed.
The senator also called on the relevant government agencies to give the case due attention and asked for updates on the implementation of the existing 2018 agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said that he is going to Kuwait on 2 to 3 February to meet with Kuwaiti authorities and explained that the contract contains provisions that President Rodrigo Duterte wants to be included.
Among the provisions are allowing household service workers to keep their passport and cellphone, specifying their working hours and sleeping hours, giving them one day off a week with pay, and not transferring them to another employer without their written consent and the written approval of the Philippine labor attaché.
Go asked if the contract might be finalized and adopted before the planned visit of the President to Kuwait in March to which the Labor secretary answered, “Based on their latest actuations, my level of confidence is very high. In fact, yesterday I was informed that the employers have been formally charged with murder.”
After the public hearing, Go met with the Villavende family in his office, and he assured them that the government will do everything to achieve justice for Jeanelyn and noted that the government will continue to impose the temporary deployment ban to protect other OFW.