Filipina maid killed in Kuwait following abuse, Manila condemns act

‘I really want to kill the illegal recruiters who send Filipina maids to the Middle East’, says President Duterte



A Filipina maid in Kuwait has been killed allegedly following abuse by her employers, local media reported.

On Sunday, December 29, police received a report from Sabah Hospital where a Filipina housemaid, who had died, was found to have bruises on various parts of her body, Kuwait Times reported.

The deceased, identified as Jeanalyn Villavende, had arrived in Kuwait on May 5, 2019.

According to the report, the maid’s sponsor, who had taken her to hospital, admitted during interrogations that his wife had beaten Villavende until she fainted. His wife, who was summoned, reportedly admitted to beating the maid but said she had not intended to kill her.

An investigation is underway.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines lashed out against the incident.

“I really want to kill [these illegal] recruiters who seize every problem to convince people to go to the Middle East. But when the recruit arrives in the Middle East, the problem develops or they are being sold to questionable Arab families,” Duterte said in a speech on Monday.

“There are Filipina girls who went there who cannot be accounted for anymore… They said if you fail to find them, they had been sold to the slave market in Africa. And I just cannot imagine for the life of me to think that a Filipina is being made a slave and being raped every day,” he said, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported.

Following the incident, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) summoned the Kuwaiti ambassador in Manila to strongly condemn the act, Kuwait Times said.

It called for complete transparency in the investigation of the case and urged for swift prosecution of the perpetrators.

The DFA also said continuing incidents of violence and abuse of Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait “violated the spirit of the agreement signed in May 2018 that seeks to promote and protect their welfare”.

In 2018, the Philippines had imposed a partial ban on sending domestic workers to Kuwait due to increasing incidents of abuse against Filipina maids.

The ban was lifted after the pact was signed in May.