Officials visit wake of slain OFW Jullebee Ranara

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 29) — The wake of slain overseas Filipino worker Jullebee Ranara began on Sunday at her home in Las Piñas, with some government officials visiting to condole with the bereaved family.

“I grieve for you. Justice will prevail. #Justice4Jullebee God bless you, Jullebee,” Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople said in a social media post after visiting the wake.

Ranara’s remains arrived in the country from Kuwait on Friday and underwent an autopsy conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation the next day upon the request of the family. Her burnt body was discovered in the Kuwaiti desert on Jan. 21. 

Kuwaiti authorities have arrested the primary suspect in the killing — the 17-year-old son of Ranara's employer.

The DMW earlier said it will send a fact-finding team to Kuwait next week to investigate the case and look into the situation of OFWs there in order to establish measures and prevent further abuse.

According to officials, the Ranara family has requested privacy in their time of grief.

“Gusto kong mabigay sa kanila yung privacy na magluksa. Kung sa atin man mangyari ito, na paulit-ulit ikukwento yung nangyari sa mahal mo, masakit 'yun eh. Unawain na lang natin,” said Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Arnell Ignacio, who visited the family earlier and during the wake.

Kabayan Party-list Representative and House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs Chairperson Ron Salo came on Sunday afternoon. He condoled with the family and vowed to make sure that justice will be served.

On calls for deployment ban

When asked about calls for a deployment ban to Kuwait, Salo said more research and consultations are needed.

“Mabigat kung magkaroon tayo ng ban. Kailangan pag-isipan ng maigi dahil may implications yun. Baka siyempre yung mga iba gustong mag-renew, hindi naman makakapag-renew. Yung iba naman na gustong makapunta doon, hindi makakapunta,” he told reporters.

[Translation: It will be tough if we have a (deployment) ban. We need to think about it thoroughly because it has implications. There may be some who would want to renew (their contracts) but they wouldn’t be able do so. Others who want to work abroad may also not be able to do so.]

Instead of a ban, Salo says he will push for the “proactive monitoring” of OFWs by recruitment agencies to make sure that cases like that of Ranara’s would not happen again.

READ: DMW not considering Kuwait deployment ban after OFW slay, eyes ‘additional safeguards’

CNN Philippines' correspondent Paige Javier contributed to this story.