By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– The Kuwaiti employer of Jeanelyn Villavende, the overseas Filipino worker who was tortured and killed in Kuwait, has been sentenced to death by a criminal court, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. announced late Wednesday.
“The (Philippine Embassy) lawyer Fawziya Al Sabah said the Court’s decision was fair and in accordance with law and Sharia as the accused assaulted her Filipino employee for days and imprisoned her in a room until her death,” he said in a statement.
In January 2020, the news of Villavende’s death in the hands of her employer’s wife sparked outrage in Manila, prompting the government to impose a deployment ban on Kuwait at the time.
Based on initial reports, Villavende was beaten to death and was already dead when brought to a hospital. Attending nurses reported that she was “black and blue”.
According to the Embassy, the Kuwaiti Court of First Instance handed down the decision on Dec. 30 and sentenced Villavende’s female employer to death by hanging and her male employer to four years in prison.
“Ms. Villavende’s case against her abusive employers stood on solid ground– born out of the swift and transparent investigation made by Kuwaiti authorities, and the strong evidence presented before the court against her killers,” it said in a statement released on Thursday.
The Embassy said the ruling also serves as a reminder to everyone that “no Filipino is a slave to anyone, anywhere and everywhere, and that justice will always come to the defense of the weak and the oppressed.”
Locsin, meanwhile, thanked Al Sabah and Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Philippines Musaed Salem Ahmad Al Thuwaikh for this swift justice.
“To my brother, the Kuwait Ambassador to the Philippines, I owe you a debt of blood gratitude. My thanks and that of my nation and people is eternal,” he said. (PNA)