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Remains of OFW raped, burned in Kuwait to arrive Jan 27

by Malou Talosig-Bartolome

KUWAIT has allowed the remains of Filipino maid Jullebee Cabilis Ranara to be shipped immediately to the Philippines in consideration of the wishes of the bereaved family, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait said.

“Arrangements have been made for the shipment of the body, which is expected to arrive in the Manila on Friday, January 27, 2023,” Philippine Chargé d’Affaires Jose Cabrera said in a statement.

What’s driving the news

The 35-year old Filipino maid was found dead, her body charred beyond recognition, along Salim Road in Kuwait Sunday evening.

  • Based on the fingerprints lifted from the victim’s body, Kuwaiti authorities identified the body as that of Ranara’s
  • Kuwaiti media quoted police sources as saying that the victim was raped and impregnated by the 17-year old son of her employer
  • She suffered from head injuries, indicating that her head was smashed
  • Her body was burned apparently to cover up the gruesome murder. The charred remains were thrown in the desert
  • The suspect was arrested and confessed to the crime

The Philippine Embassy said they are aware of the reports that were published in the Kuwait media. But they have yet to receive an official communication as to the details of the investigation. At the moment, they can only confirm that she was killed and her body was burned.

“Forensic examination and analysis of evidence is still in process and the Embassy will request access to information on the results and findings when these have been completed and forwarded to the prosecution,” Cabrera said.

Deployment ban?

Some sectors have called for a deployment ban to Kuwait following the killing of Ranara.

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople said the department “appreciates the good intentions” behind the clamor. But she said she wanted to try first to exhaust “social dialog” on labor migration concerns.

“It does not mean we are insensitive to such calls. It only means that for now, we wish to resort to labor diplomacy to add more safeguards and ensure that justice is pursued on behalf of Jullebee and her family.” Ople said in a statement.

Early release of remains

Both the DMW and the Philippine Embassy have expressed appreciation for the quick response of the Kuwaiti authorities in resolving the murder.

Aside from the arrest of the suspect, the Kuwait government also assisted in “facilitating the release” of the human remains of Ranara.

Normally for murder cases, remains are kept for review for prosecution and defense. This is why the Embassy expressed appreciation for the gesture of the Kuwaiti government in considering the request of the family of Ranara to expedite the release of her body.

Ople also acknowledged the “full assistance in facilitating the repatriation of our OFWs who have been staying at the shelter” at the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait prior to this murder incident.

“There is a working, productive relationship between the Philippines and Kuwait that can be further enhanced not by imposing a deployment ban but by revisiting the existing Bilateral Labor Agreement (BLA).

“A new BLA would extend additional protection for our OFWs. We can accomplish more to protect our workers with the cooperation of the Kuwaiti government,” Ople said.

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