The second principal suspect in the murder of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis is now under the custody of authorities in Syria, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported.
“We have just been informed by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait that Mona Hassoun, wife of Nader Essam Assaf, who are the principal suspects in the murder of our kababayan Joanna Demafelis, is now in custody of authorities in Damascus,” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
On Saturday, February 24 the DFA also reported the arrest of Lebanese national Nader Essam Assaf the male employer of Demafelis.
Secretary Cayetano assured that the DFA and the Department of Labor and Employment “will follow President Duterte’s instructions to vigorously pursue justice for Demafelis.”
Citing initial reports from Ambassador Renato Villa, Secretary Cayetano said Hassoun was arrested with her husband in Syria where the two fled after leaving Kuwait in 2017.
According to Cayetano, the two were taken into custody after Kuwaiti authorities requested the assistance of Interpol in locating and arresting the suspects.
Demafelis was found dead in a freezer with obvious marks of brutal torture and maltreatment. Her communication with her family in the Philippines ceased in 2016 after her employers reported her missing.