ILOILO CITY – The family of Joanna Demafelis, the Overseas Filipino Worker beaten to death and stuffed inside a freezer in Kuwait, wants the death penalty for her employers who were arrested in Lebanon and Syria.
Joejet Demafelis said it is only fair that death is the ultimate punishment for Nader Essam Assaf and his wife Mona Hassoun when they undergo trial in Kuwait, which has a death penalty.
“Nag-papasalamat kami nahuli na sila pero dapat maranasan nila ang naranasan ng kapatid ko,” Joejet said.
The manhunt led by the International Criminal Police Organization caught Assaf in his home country of Lebanon and Hassoun in her home country of Syria.
While Joanna’s two employers have been arrested, there is no closure yet for the Demafelis family of Sara, Iloilo.
“As the oldest, I’m still very angry at what they did to my sister,” Joejet said. “My parents and my siblings still cannot accept it. Even if the two suspects have been arrested, it does not erase what they did to my sister. Even if people are saying we received a lot of money, it does not pay for the life that was taken away from us,” Joejet added.
Citing autopsy reports, Joejet said what the Lebanese and Syrian couple did to his 29-year-old sister is too brutal. “They poured hot cooking oil on my sister. Her bones are broken. They really beat her up.”
Assaf was arrested a day after President Duterte visited Joanna’s wake. Duterte assured the Demafelis family that the Philippine government is pushing by all means to bring justice.
It was Joanna’s death who led him to ban the deployment of new OFWs to Kuwait.
The Demafelis family is still awaiting extradition of the two suspects to Kuwait, where Joanna was murdered.
Joanna, who is believed to have been dead for over a year, was physically beaten by the husband and wife before hiding her body inside the freezer in an abandoned apartment. (Tara Yap)