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In May 2014, Demafelis left her home town and flew to the Middle East, becoming one of the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to move there for work. Unfortunately, she did not return home alive.

ILOILO CITY – The employer of slain Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Joana Demafelis was found guilty of murder by the Syrian District Criminal Court, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Monday.

Demafelis was a resident of Sitio Cordero, Barangay Ferraris, Sara, Iloilo.

The DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs identified the suspect as Syrian national Mouna Ali Hassoun.

Hassoun’s Lebanese husband Nader Essam Assaf, was also facing the same charges. The DFA said Hassoun is expected to receive a prison sentence ranging from 8 to 15 years. Assaf, meanwhile, faces murder charges in Lebanon where his trial is still ongoing.

In February 2018, the cold remains of Demafelis was found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

The sudden death of Demafelis prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to ban all deployments of Filipino workers in the Gulf state.

The foreign agency also assured that they will continue to help the victims family on legal assistance until justice is served.

(With reports from Bombo Radyo Iloilo)