“As we mourn the death of our fellow OFW, we express our strongest condemnation on the government’s failure to save the life of Jakatia Pawa. The previous administrations are guilty of criminal neglect and the current regime is liable of acting too late to stop her execution.”
This was the statement of Migrante International after Philippine post in Kuwait confirmed the death of Jakatia Pawa, a domestic helper from Zamboanga del Norte who was sentenced to death in April 2008 for allegedly killing the daughter of her employer. The verdict was upheld by the Court of Cassation in 2013.
“Her death is a result of the government’s policy of not providing immediate legal assistance to OFWs. We believe that she is not the culprit but the victim of a sorry condition that forced her to work in a foreign land in order to provide a better future for her children. We also believe that she will not have ended up on death row had the Philippine government attended to her case sooner. The government must be held accountable,” lamented Mic Catuira, Acting Secretary General of Migrante International.
According to information gathered by Migrante, the knife that was used in the crime did not have her fingerprints on it and there were no bloodstains of the victim on her dress or body that could link her to the killing. Throughout the whole investigation and judicial process, Pawa maintained that she was innocentThe government’s failure to provide her a lawyer in the early stages of trial made an unfavorable verdict possible.
“Justice must be served, heads must roll! Nananawagan kami kay Pangulong Duterte na imbestigahan ang kaso at sibakin sa pwesto ang mga nagpabayang opisyal,” said Catuira.
Migrante also challenged President Duterte to immediately call for a review of RA 8042 as ammended by RA 10022 as it does not guarantee the welfare and security of overseas Filipino workers just like what happened to OFW Pawa. According to Migrante’s monitoring, almost 100 OFWs are currently on deathrow and more than 9,000 are in detention, many of those are not provided legal assistance from our government.
“To save the OFWs from the perils of forced migration, what the present administration should ultimately strive to do is to decisively deviate from its 4-decade old labor export policy and focus instead on creating decent and sustainable local jobs for its citizens.” ended Catuira.###