Duterte will 'most likely' visit Kuwait after Ramadan — Labor Secretary

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — President Rodrigo Duterte might visit Kuwait over the case of slain overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said.

"I am very confident that the president will most likely visit Kuwait. Maybe after Ramadan," Bello told CNN Philippines on Wednesday.

The Ramadan lasts from May 17 to mid-June.

This comes after Bello revealed new developments in Demafelis' case. He said the Lebanese and the Syrian governments - the home countries of Joanna's former employers - resisted Kuwait's request for extradition proceedings.

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 Joanna's body could have been there for over a year or from the time the couple left the country.

The government had earlier said Duterte would visit Kuwait amid reports of abused Filipino workers in the Gulf State, including the case of Demafelis.

The case led to Duterte imposing a deployment ban to Kuwait, and the eventual signing of a labor deal for the Filipino workers' protection.