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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.

The Malacañang hailed the guilty verdict charged by Syrian District Criminal Court against the employer of murdered Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Joana Demafelis.

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.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo welcomed the good news and that justice was finally served for Demafelis.

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.

Diplomatic relations between Philippines and Kuwait was also put into test due to the incident.

(With reports from Bombo Reymund Tinaza)