A Lebanese man and his Syrian wife have been found guilty, and sentenced to death by hanging in a Kuwaiti court for the gruesome killing of Joanna Demafilis, a Filipina overseas worker. Demafilis was found stuffed in a freezer, months after she was first reported missing, in an abandoned house formerly occupied by the couple.
Nader Esam Assaf and his wife, Mona Hassouin were sentenced in absentia as both are still in separate custodies by Lebanese and Syrian authorities.
The case stands as a landmark event for the future safety and welfare of millions of Filipino workers all over the world. Especially since the quick arrest and conviction of the killers is widely viewed as being a direct result of the strong reaction of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the murder, including a ban on further deployments of Filipino workers to Kuwait.
While critics of Duterte questioned the ban when it was first announced, subsequent events, including the Kuwaiti government’s agreement to better working conditions for Filipino OFWs have shown that It was the correct decision.