Women’s group calls for justice for slain Filipina migrant worker and model

Women’s group Gabriela lit candles and called for justice for Jullebee Ranara and Davao-based model and businesswoman Yvonne Chua Plaza in Quezon City, Jan 27. (Photo by Pinoy Weekly)


MANILA – Women’s group Gabriela condemned the recent reports of violence against women, including the death of another overseas Filipino worker in Kuwait.

The group lit candles and called for justice for Jullebee Ranara and Davao-based model and businesswoman Yvonne Chua Plaza in Quezon City on Friday, January 27.

Plaza was gunned down in front of her house in Davao City in December last year. Military personnel have been linked to her death, with Brigadier General Jesus Durante III named as the alleged mastermind in the said case.

Ranara, on the other hand, was killed after being raped by her employer’s son. Her remains were reportedly burned and thrown in the desert. Reports also revealed that she was pregnant.

Photo by Pinoy Weekly

“Amid the killing of countless women migrant workers, from the time of Flor Contemplacion to Jullebee Rana, the government has not halted its labor export policy. The government remains deaf to the calls of the Filipino workers,” said Gabriela Deputy Secretary Cora Agovida in a statement.

Agovida said that many women are pushed to work overseas because of the dire living conditions here.

Meanwhile, Migrante International said that Ranara’s death is the latest in a series of controversial deaths that includes Joanna Daniela Demafelis (2018), Constancia Lago Dayag (2019), and Jeanelyn Villavende (2019) in Kuwait.

They added that there are also more than 400 distressed OFWs staying in cramped Philippine government facilities in Kuwait.

“The recent deaths and abuse suffered by our kababayans in Kuwait are not isolated incidents and point to conditions in Kuwait and other countries that make our OFWs vulnerable to abuse and even murder,” the group said in a statement.

Photo by Pinoy Weekly

The group called on the government to:

1. Seek justice for Jullebee. Her murderers must be brought to court and imprisoned.
2. Order the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait to be more alert and attentive to OFWs’ complaints and cries for help. Expand repatriation and other services for distressed OFWs there.
3. Probe and punish possible neglect of duty among Philippine officials in Kuwait, as shown by the deplorable conditions suffered by distressed OFWs in the country.
4. Push for measures that will alleviate the working and living conditions of Filipino domestic workers and OFWs in Kuwait.
5. Push for reforms in, if not the abolition of, the kafala system, which has meant total employer control over domestic workers and OFWs.

They emphasized that the solution to the perennial problems of OFWs is to end the labor export program and generate decent jobs in the country, which, they said, are only possible through genuine land reform and national industrialization.

“As long as the Philippine government and the economy remain highly-dependent on migrant Filipinos’ remittances, cases of abuse and even murder of OFWs will not end,” the group said in a statement. (RTS, RVO)

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