The body of slain overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Jeanelyn Villavende showed signs of sexual and physical abuse, an autopsy from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has found.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told the media yesterday that wounds found on the late domestic worker’s body were an indication that she was “battered weeks prior” to her death, ABS-CBN News reports. Guevarra added that, based on the NBI’s report, “Sexual abuse and prior infliction of physical injury have been established.”
Guevarra added that Villavende died of “acute failure of heart and respiration as [a] result by shock and multiple injuries in the vascular nervous system.” The autopsy was conducted by the NBI’s Dr. Ricardo Rodaje on Friday in Cotabato, near the victim’s home, Rappler reports.
Villavende used to work as a domestic worker in Kuwait, where her employers allegedly beat her to death, leading Manila to impose a partial deployment ban on workers to the Gulf State. The Duterte administration said her death was in “clear disregard” of the agreement it signed with Kuwait in 2018, which sought to protect the rights of Filipino workers.
The agreement was signed after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a deployment ban on Kuwait in 2016 following the death of a domestic worker named Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found stuffed in a freezer. After the discovery of Demafelis’ remains, Duterte launched a broadside against Arab employers, accusing them of raping their Filipina workers, overworking them, and feeding them scraps.
In light of the release of the autopsy report, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he will push for a total and permanent deployment ban to Kuwait, ABS-CBN News reports.
“We will no longer send anyone there,” Bello said in English and Filipino. “These Kuwaitis are useless. Imagine what they have done to our countryman. If I tell you about it, you might organize a protest. They abused our countryman too much.”
“We will not allow injustice done to our OFW. We will see to it that the culprits will answer for their crimes.”
Villavende’s unnamed employer and his wife have been arrested and remain jailed in Kuwait.