Prohibition of Philippine Labor Delivery Continues and May Be Expanded

The President of the Philippines says the ban on sending workers to Kuwait will continue and will likely extend to other countries where the region finds cases of ill-treatment and degrading the dignity of workers from the country.

Also read: Family of Filipino Migrant Workers Killed in Kuwait Mourning

President Rodrigo Duterte issued the statement Thursday in the town of Sara, northern Philippines, after attending a memorial service Joanna Demafelis, a female worker found dead in a refrigerator owned by his employer in Kuwait.

Duterte also said he would file a criminal suit against the Demafelis employer, who is currently being hunted by Kuwaiti authorities.

Philippine returns more than 2,200 Filipinos in Kuwait

Demafelis body was discovered in a Feb. 6 refrigerator in Kuwait City, where he was reported missing for over a year. A number of Philippine officials said, on the body of the woman was found a number of bruises and there are indications that he was strangled. [ab/lt]

Philippine Militants Failed to Attack Other Cities After Marawi

ISIS-linked militants are planning but failing to attack another town in the southern Philippines shortly after Philippine soldiers cracked down on their occupation in Marawi last year, the country's largest Muslim rebel group said on Tuesday.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front said plans to attack the town of Iligan or Cotabato failed after the Marawi occupation ended, but the extremists have continued to recruit new troops to recover from the defeat of their battles.

Murad said his group continued intelligence information on the planned attack on the two cities, which are the bustling commercial centers, to government troops through a ceasefire channel opened during the peace talks. He published the information in a forum with foreign journalists and emphasized how his group helped combat terrorism.

Read also: Battle in Marawi, Philippines Deliver Thousands of People

President Rodrigo Duterte and military officials have also said that the remnants of radical groups that occupied and destroyed Marawi for five months were searching for new troops and plotting new attacks.

Duterte called the threat in his speech Monday night (19/2) in which he criticized Canada for wearing restrictions on the use of helicopter gunships to be bought by the Philippines. He has ordered the military to cancel the purchase. [gp]

Philippine PRT Found Dead in Freezer Repatriated from Kuwait

 The body of a Filipina domestic worker who was killed in Kuwait, has arrived in her homeland. More than 100 relatives and supporters called for justice upheld for the death of a domestic worker named Joanna Demafelis.

The Demafelis family can only cry when the white coffin containing the 29-year-old domestic worker's body is dropped from a cargo plane arriving in Iloilo, Philippines. The body of Demafelis was found frozen in the refrigerator ( freezer ) of his employer earlier this month. Found signs of strangling marks on Demafelis's body. The Kuwaiti authorities suspect that his body had been kept in the refrigerator for the past year.

"Justice for Joanna D Demafelis," the banners and writes on the crowd shirt that welcomed Demafelis's body, as reported by AFP Saturday (19459009) 17/2/2018). A member of the Philippine parliament and a number of local officials participated in the crowd.

Seeing the body of his daughter arriving, Demafelis's mother, Eva, can only say 'I am sad' when asked by reporters. Aunt Demafelis, Rosela, commented more on reporters

"She did not deserve the treatment that caused her to die, she was beaten," Rosela said, referring to local media reports calling Demafelis dead after being tortured and beaten. "He decided to go abroad because he wanted to help his parents repair the destroyed house by the super hurricane Yolanda (Haiyan)," he added, referring to the typhoon that devastated the Philippines in 2013.

Rosela also calls Demafelis wanting to pay for her sister's college, Joyce , with salaries gained abroad.

 Family and relatives ask for justice upheld for death Joanna Demafelis Family and relatives ask for justice upheld for death Joanna Demafelis Photos: REUTERS / Erik De Castro

The body of the Demafelis first arrives in Manila on Saturday (17/2) morning. From Manila, the corpse is under Iloilo province by domestic aircraft. Then from the airport, his body will be taken to the home town of Demafelis in Sara, Iloilo. Locals march on the side of the street to drive Demafelis away. The car carrying Demafelis was escorted by dozens of motorcycles and police cars.

The death of Demafelis worsens the diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Kuwait. Especially after President Rodrigo Duterte pointed out that employers in Kuwait often raped Filipino workers, forcing them to work for 21 hours every day and giving them the leftovers.

Duterte also prohibited migrant workers from migrating to Kuwait and ordered airlines to repatriate about 252 thousands of Filipino workers in Kuwait who want to go home for free

About 10 million Filipinos are known to work overseas and the money earned by them becomes the 'savior' of the Philippine economy. But the treatment gained by overseas Filipino workers who are often inhumane, often a political issue in the country.

(nvc / nvc)

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Philippine Aircraft Japanese Donation to Disputed Coral

The Philippine military flies a Japanese donated patrol plane to a disputed reef area with China in the South China Sea.

According to Philippine military officials, the Scarborough action did not confront China's resistance to the reefs.

North Luzon Military Command of the Philippines, said the Beechcraft King Air C90 plane flew low to 240 meters above Scarborough. The plane saw the presence of nine Chinese ships, including four Chinese coastal vessels and four Filipino fishing boats.

Earlier this month, a US-derailed destroyer sailed near Scarborough to show freedom of navigation. The action sparked protests from China that said it would take the necessary measures to protect its territorial sovereignty. The USS Hopper ship sailed into the 12-mile-sea area of ​​Scarborough without Chinese permission.

China controls Scarborough in 2012 after engaging in a dispute with Philippine ships. The small reef area is located about 200 kilometers from Luzon Island, the Philippines, and about 600 kilometers southeast of China. [ab/uh]

Philippine Volcano Continues to Spread Ash and Lava

More than 50,000 residents have now been displaced after the most active volcano in the Philippines continuously spewing a large blob of red-hot ash and lava.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology says Mayon volcano spewed as much as 700 lava meters from its crater and ash up to a height of 600 meters into the air

There were at least three eruptions until Wednesday morning (24/1) since the activity of Mayon Volcano began to be detected more than a week ago.

The institution raised the alert level of Mayon Mountain to four on a five-point scale, indicating a dangerous explosion can happen at any time. The institute also expanded the danger zone around the volcano to a radius of eight kilometers.

Mount Mayon, located more than 300 kilometers from Manila, is one of 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines. The volcano has erupted at least 50 times and the worst occurred in 1814, when the town of Cagsawa was buried in volcanic mud and more than 1,000 people were reported killed.

The Philippines is on the "Ring of Fire," a series of seismic fault in the Pacific Ocean that is vulnerable to earthquakes earth and volcanic activity. [ab/uh]