Kuwaiti employer sentenced to death for killing Filipina domestic worker

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The National Bureau of Investigation's findings early this year showed Jeanelyn Villavende was "sexually abused and brutally murdered."

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 30) — A Kuwaiti citizen has been sentenced to death a year after killing her Filipina domestic worker.

In a series of tweets, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday confirmed the Kuwaiti Criminal Court handed down the death sentence to the Kuwaiti woman who killed 26-year-old Jeanelyn Villavende in December last year.

Quoting Philippine Embassy lawyer Fawziya Al Sabah, Locsin said the court's decision was "fair and in accordance with law and Sharia as the accused assaulted her Filipino employee for days and imprisoned her in a room until her death."

Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti woman's husband was sentenced to four years imprisonment for not reporting the crime. Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Hans Cacdac told CNN Philippines that this relatively light punishment "should be looked into, perhaps the subject of an appeal."

Based on the autopsy conducted in Kuwait following her death, Villavende died of acute failure of heart and respiration as a result of shock and multiple injuries in the vascular nervous system.

However, the National Bureau of Investigation's findings also showed the Filipina worker was "sexually abused and brutally murdered."

"To my brother, the Kuwait Ambassador to the PH, I owe you a debt of blood gratitude. My thanks and that of my nation and people is eternal," Locsin wrote.

"They took my vow seriously: blood for blood, life for life. Thank you Kuwait," he added, referring to his earlier reassurance that "there will be blood" for what happened to Villavende.

In a statement on Thursday, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait 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 Ambassador to Kuwait Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Lomondot also expressed his gratitude to the assistance of the Philippine government during the process.