Remains of slain OFW to be repatriated from Kuwait this week – official

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 7) — The remains of Jeanelyn Villavende – the Filipina domestic worker killed in Kuwait – are set to be repatriated from the Gulf state this week, an official confirmed Tuesday.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Cacdac told CNN Philippines’ The Source that Villavende’s body is expected to be returned to their families “in the next few days," as initial investigation into the case finally wrapped up.

“She's coming home very soon, and we hope also that the investigation itself will be concluded and formal charge in court against the employer-couple,” he said. The body's repatriation could be as soon as Wednesday or Thursday, he added.

An embalming certificate released by the Kuwait's Ministry of Health has confirmed that Villavende was killed on December 28, 2019. She died of "acute failure of heart and respiration" as a result of shock and multiple injuries in the vascular nervous system. She was 26.

Filipino officials informed her family about her death on December 30 that year. The news shocked the family, who had not talked to her in two months since her Kuwaiti employee would not allow her to take calls.

RELATED: Slain OFW wasn't allowed to talk to family for 2 months

Authorities have said Villavende had been beaten “black and blue” before being rushed to the hospital.

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

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

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

READ: Kuwait deployment ban signed, but may be lifted if suspects in OFW death charged – Labor chief