The family of Jeanelyn Villavende, a Filipino migrant worker who was murdered in Kuwait in 2019, welcomed the decision of a Kuwaiti court that imposed the death sentence to Villavende’s female employer.
“She will suffer the same fate,” said Moises Villavende, uncle of Jeanelyn. He told LiCAS.news that the family is “happy” with the death sentence handed down on the female employer.
Moises said “complete justice” could have been rendered had the male employer been sentenced to death.
“[Jeanelyn] was raped based on the autopsy (of our authorities),” said Moises.
In a statement, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait said the Kuwaiti Court of First Instance handed the verdict on Wednesday, December 30.
The Embassy said Villavende’s case “stood on solid ground — born out of the swift and transparent investigation made by Kuwaiti authorities.”
“May the Court of First Instance’s decision on the Villavende murder case serve as a reminder to everyone that no Filipino is a slave to anyone,” it added.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the court’s decision was “fair and in accordance with law and Sharia.”
Hans Cacdac, head of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, called for a review into the relatively light punishment on the male employer.
Based on autopsy conducted in Kuwait following Villavende’s death, she died of acute failure of heart and respiration as a result of shock and multiple injuries in the vascular nervous system.
The Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation, however, said the Filipino migrant worker was “sexually abused and brutally murdered.”
Villavende, 26, left in mid-2019 to work as household helper for the couple in the Gulf nation in the hope of giving her poor family a better life.
Earning a little over US$400, Villavende managed to send only three times half of her salary back home.
She died in a hospital on December 28, 2019, according to Kuwaiti authorities.