The male employer of the ill-fated overseas Filipina worker, Joanna Dimafelis in Kuwait, has already been arrested by Lebanese authorities, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) revealed on Friday evening.
DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Nader Essam Assaf, a Lebanese national, was arrested in Lebanon as the principal suspects in the torture and murder of the 29-year-old domestic helper.
As per Cayetano, he already informed President Rodrigo Duterte about the arrest of the murder suspects.
“The President welcomes the news that Nader Essam Assaf is now in the hands of authorities in Lebanon,” Cayetano said.
“Assaf’s arrest is a critical first step in our quest for justice for Joanna and we are thankful to our friends in Kuwait and Lebanon for their assistance,” he added.
Earlier, Cayetano said: “They will [face] criminal charges definitely under Kuwaiti law. There will be criminal charges to be filed against the suspects.”
Moreover, Cayateno expects that Kuwaiti officials will request that the suspect be extradited back to Kuwait to stand trial.
Both the Kuwaiti and International Police (Interpol) had been in search of the couple after Kuwaiti officials discovered the body of Demafelis inside a freezer in the couple’s abandoned apartment early this month.
The couple was Demafelis’ last known employers.
Duterte promised to serve justice to the family of slain OFW Joanna Demafelis during his visit to the OFW’s wake in Sara, Iloilo Wednesday afternoon.
In a press conference held after the President’s visit to Demafelis’ wake, he expressed that once the suspects to Demafelis’ death are caught and the results of the investigation are released, he will press charges.