MANILA, Philippines, January 27 ------ Kuwait has expressed dismay over the remark of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. that he would accept only the lives of the killers of Filipina household worker Jeanelyn Villavende, rejecting blood money from her Kuwait employers as settlement. A report of the Kuwait News Agency over the weekend cited an official source at the Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs voicing Kuwait’s dismay and condemnation of Locsin’s remark about the case of Villavende, who was allegedly killed by her employers.
Locsin said on Friday he would reject any offer of “blood money” or settlement from Villavende’s killers. “THERE WILL BE BLOOD @DFAPHL for Jeanelyn Villavende. I renounce & reject any offer of blood money for her torture/murder. I want two lives for the life they took,” he tweeted. The official source, according to the report, said Locsin’s remark “contained an unacceptable transgression against jurisdictions of Kuwaiti security and judicial authorities” and decried the secretary’s statement as an “unusual approach in dealing with countries.” “It runs counter to the simplest rules of international relations,” the source said, noting that the Philippines’ top diplomat’s remark represents an attempt to influence the ongoing investigations.
The source also lauded measures taken by relevant Kuwaiti agencies on Villavende’s case, noting that authorities quickly arrested those who committed the crime and referred them to a fair judiciary. The Kuwaiti government, to show its commitment in the case, is willing to allow investigators from the Philippines to join its investigation of the murder—a position relayed to Philippine Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Concerns Secretary Abdullah Mama-o by Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Al-Jarallah last Jan. 19. Mama-o was accompanied by Philippine embassy in Kuwait Chargé d’Affaires and Consul General Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot and Undersecretary Edwin Bael of the Office of the President during the meeting with top officials of Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They discussed issues concerning the welfare and wellbeing of more than 230,000 Filipinos in Kuwait.
In his tweet, Locsin said he was interested in an “eye for an eye” resolution and won’t settle for anything less. “The rest is a sideshow. I will not trade that poor woman’s torment for some shit concession on labor rights. I want two lives for the life they took. Don’t change the subject,” he tweeted. The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry is expected to release soon the full reports of the police investigation and autopsy on the case of Villavende.