The police recovered the dead body of Joanna Demafiles 29, an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Kuwait, who was missing for over a year, from the freezer on 7th February 2018. They found strangulation marks on her neck which they believe led to her death.
Joanna Demafiles employment in Kuwait
Joanna Demafiles left her home and her loved ones in Sara Iloilo Island, Philippines, to work in Kuwait in 2014 hoping for a better life for her family back home. A Lebanese man Nader Essam Assaf and his Syrian wife Mona Hassoun recruited Joanna Demafiles from an agency as a domestic helper. She travelled to the city of Al-Shaab where she lived with the family. In 2016 Joanna Demafiles lost contact with her family in the Philippines.
Also Read: Duterte Visists Iloilo at Joanna’s Wake
After exhausting all efforts to locate Joanna, her sister reported the matter to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and filed a missing person’s complaint.
Joanna’s remains arrived at Manila on Friday, 16th February 2018. Soon after, the authorities took her dead body to a funeral home for further investigations. The report said it seemed like someone beat her severely on several occasions before she died. They concluded that Joanna appeared to have undergone a lot of abuse as they found a few broken ribs in her body along with other signs of abuse.
Her grieving family flew her home on Saturday where they will hold a funeral service for her.
“Yung kabila ng mukha…’saka ‘yung kamay niya. Durog-durong na ba ‘yung buto. ‘Saka yung bewang, ‘saka yung ribs parang durog na,” [The side of the face…and her hand. The bones were crushed. And her waist and ribs, they seemed crushed.] Joanna’s father Crisanto said after seeing her in the funeral home. – CNN report.
The Family decided for a two week wake and asked for privacy.
Financial Aid to Demafiles’ kin
Joanna’s siblings collected a cheque of P100,000 from the Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol. The provincial government suggested that this fund was intended to cover the burial expenses.
“We will give financial and bereavement assistance worth P300,000; livelihood assistance worth P200,000; P50,000 for the educational assistance of the sister; and another P50,000 for the medical assistance of the child of her sister,” said Connie Binondo, Owwa-Western Visayas Program and Services Division officer-in-charge.
The Interpol has launched a manhunt for Joanna’s employers.
Edited by: Himesh Saraf