By Tara Yap
Instead of execution, the family of slain Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis now wants the husband and wife employers to pay approximately US$ 100,000 or more than P5 million as blood money.
“We are willing to have a settlement,” said Eva Demafelis, the 64-year-old mother of Joanna.
Eva made this statement after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that a Syrian court found Mouna Ali Hassoun, one of the two suspects, guilty of Joanna’s murder in Kuwait.
Speaking to Manila Bulletin via phone, Eva said justice is not yet complete.
The Demafelis family of Sara town, Iloilo province awaits the verdict of a separate murder case faced by Nader Essam Assaf, Hassoun’s husband in Lebanon.
“We are also waiting if the couple will formally accept our demands,” said Eva while speaking in a mixture of Hilagyanon and Tagalog language.
The Demafelis family previously wanted the death penalty for both Hassoun and Assaf. They were outraged at what the couple did to 29-year-old Joanna, who was physically beaten and her body hidden inside a freezer in Kuwait City.
Eva said that it was her brother-in-law, Pablo Demafelis, a village chieftain, who advised them to demand for blood money.
Based on early negotiations through a lawyer, Hassoun offered US$ 50,000 while Assaf only offered US$20,000. Eva said the family will not accept only US$ 70,000 and reiterated that the blood money is still US$ 100,000.
Eva also noted that while the life of Hassoun and Assaf will be spared once they pay the blood money, they will still be imprisoned.
The Demafelis family is also demanding that Joanna be fully compensated for working as the couple’s house helper and they should return Joanna’s suitcase.
The case of Demafelis angered Filipinos and made President Duterte order a travel ban for OFWs who wanted to work in Kuwait for several months last year.