Demafelis family won't settle for blood money

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 3) — The family of slain overseas Filipino workers Joanna Demafelis will fight until the end to bring justice for her death. 

Joanna's brother, Joejet Demafelis, said they will reject any offer of blood money or financial compensation for the brutal death of his sister in Kuwait.

"Hindi kami pumapayag (We will not agree to that)," he told CNN Philippines' Newsroom on Tuesday.

He said their family hopes the death sentence against Joanna's employers will be executed.

"Ang sa amin lang sana mapadali ang pag sentensya sa dalawang suspek na 'yan. Gusto ng magulang namin na masentensyahan talaga sila," he said.

[Translate: We hope the death sentence against the suspects will be executed. Our parents want that.]

Lebanese Nader Essam Assaf and his Syrian wife Mona Hassoun are facing the death penalty for murder after Joanna's body was found in a freezer in their apartment in Kuwait in February. Authorities said the body could have been there for over a year or from the time the couple left the country.

Joejet said his family wants to meet the two suspects.

"Sana makapunta kami doon at makita ang dalawang suspect na 'yan na pumatay sa kapatid ko," he said.

[Translation: We hope we can go there to meet the suspects who killed my sister.]

Assef is under Lebanese custody, while Hassoun is detained in Syria.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the Philippine government hopes for the swift assistance of the two countries to bring justice to the Demafelis family.

"We continue to look forward to the cooperation of our friends not only in Kuwait, but also in Lebanon and Syria in our efforts to bring this case to a close," he said.

Despite the latest development, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevara said the total deployment ban of workers to Kuwait stays.

He said the ban will only be lifted if Kuwait agrees to conditions set by the Philippines in the proposed memorandum of understanding between the two countries.