Admin case filed vs. recruiter of slain OFW in Kuwait

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 10)— The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has filed an administrative case against the agency that recruited Jeanelyn Villavende—the Filipina domestic worker killed in Kuwait last month.

“Administrative case ang isinampa ng POEA at pinag-aaralan pa ang ibang anggulo kung ano pa ba yung hindi pa nila natupad: ‘yung mga responsibilities na hindi ginawa ng agency para sana naihatid ‘yung agarang tulong sa kababayan,” POEA administrator Bernard Olalia told CNN Philippines Friday.

[Translation: POEA filed an administrative case and we’re looking at other angles—what responsibilities the agency failed to do—especially those that could have helped our fellow Filipino.]

The case lodged against 5 Star Recruitment and Manpower Corporation, the agency which handled Villavende’s case, was formalized and signed on Thursday, Olalia noted.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the death of Villavende, whose remains arrived in the country on Wednesday.

Guevarra likewise tasked authorities to determine if there was any liability on the part of 5 Star.

An embalming certificate released by the Kuwait's Ministry of Health has confirmed that the 26-year-old household worker, who was reportedly beaten black and blue, died of "acute failure of heart and respiration" as a result of shock and multiple injuries in the vascular nervous system.

Local officials are also set to conduct a separate autopsy of Villavende’s body.

The suspects— the couple of the household where the Filipina worked— are now detained.

Monitor all OFWs in Middle east— or face suspension

Meanwhile, Olalia added the POEA has instructed all recruitment agencies to “strictly monitor” all deployed overseas workers in the Middle East.

The agencies are required to craft and submit monitoring reports immediately. Failure to do so may result in suspension and cancellation of their licenses, the administrator said.

Hahantong po sa (it may lead to) either suspension or cancellation depending on the gravity of offense,” Olalia said.

Villavende’s case— along with other reported “maltreatments and deaths” of overseas workers in the Gulf state— prompted the Philippine government to impose a partial deployment ban to Kuwait. The ban covers newly-hired household service workers.

Labor Secretary Silverstre Bello III, however, earlier said the move may be lifted if Kuwaiti courts take appropriate action on the Filipina’s case.

CNN Philippines’ Tristan Nodalo and Alyssa Rola contributed to this report.