Bishop joins call for probe into Filipino migrant's death

Maid's violent end in Kuwait could see reimposition of worker ban to Gulf state
Bishop joins call for probe into Filipino migrant's death

Constancia Dayag, 47, who died in Kuwait, is thought to be the victim in a brutal murder. (Photo supplied)

A Catholic bishop in the Philippines has joined calls for an investigation into the suspected murder of a Filipino migrant worker in Kuwait last week.

Bishop Ruperto Santos, head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, described the death of Constancia Dayag, who was suspected of having been beaten to death, as "heartless and brutal."

Dayag, 47, a domestic worker, was rushed to a hospital in Kuwait City on May 14 but was declared dead on arrival.

Media reports quoted hospital staff describing Dayag's body as being covered with cuts and bruises, as well as showing signs of sexual assault.

Bishop Santos said the government of Kuwait should be "held accountable for this gruesome death," adding that Dayag had not been protected.

"It was a failure [of the Kuwaiti government] and a clear violation of a signed agreement," said the prelate. He said those behind the death of Dayag "must be prosecuted."

"Our government officials should not stop until the guilty party is punished by law, and justice for [Dayag] is done," said Bishop Santos.

The Philippines' foreign ministry says it is coordinating with Kuwaiti authorities in investigating Dayag’s death.

The Philippine government last year ordered a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait following reports of abuses and deaths of migrant workers there.

The ban was lifted after the two countries agreed on measures to protect Filipino workers.

"Miss Dayag’s horrible fate is deeply saddening and utterly condemnable," Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said last week.

"We shall do everything to find justice for her," he said, adding that he would take the Kuwaiti government to task over the domestic worker’s death.

He hinted it would be possible to re-impose the ban on sending domestic workers to Kuwait.

Dayag arrived in Kuwait after securing an employment contract with a Kuwaiti employer in January 2016. 

Migrante International, an advocacy group for Filipinos working overseas, called for a review of the memorandum of understanding between Kuwait and the Philippines.

"Dayag’s death is proof that nothing has changed in the working conditions of [Filipino migrant workers," read the group's statement.

Kuwait is one of the largest destination of Filipino migrant workers and has been an important source of remittances back to the Philippines.

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