DMW pleased over Kuwait appeal court's conviction of Ranara killer

By Marita Moaje

February 22, 2024, 10:58 am Updated on February 22, 2024, 5:57 pm

<p>Jullebee Ranara <em>(Contributed photo)</em></p>

Jullebee Ranara (Contributed photo)

MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) welcomed the decision of the Kuwait Appeal Court upholding the conviction of the suspect in the murder of overseas Filipino worker Jullebee Ranara.

In a statement Wednesday night, DMW officer in charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac said the Gulf state's appellate court fully adopted the 16-year imprisonment sentence against the accused -- one year for driving without a license and 15 years for murder.

"We have informed the Ranara family of the Court’s ruling and have assured them of our continued utmost support and assistance, as directed by the President (Marcos)," he added.

Cacdac said he had a meeting with the Ranara family via Zoom and provided them a first-hand account of the developments in Kuwait.

He was joined in the session by Jullebee’s parents, and her brother, Emor, Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Arnell Ignacio, Migrant Workers Office Kuwait (MWO-Kuwait) Labor Attaché Manuel Dimaano, Lawyer Khaled Al-Mass, the retained counsel of MWO-Kuwait handling the Ranara case, and other DMW officials.

"I have issued instructions to our Migrant Workers Office in Kuwait (MWO-Kuwait) to work with our retained legal counsel in filing a civil action for damages against the father of the convicted perpetrator," Cacdac said.

Lifting of deployment ban ‘warranted’

KABAYAN Party-list Rep. Ron P. Salo said the lifting of the deployment ban in Kuwait is necessary in recognition of the Kuwaiti Court’s ruling, a significant milestone in the pursuit of justice for Ranara and her grieving family.

"The conviction in Jullebee Ranara's case underscores Kuwait's commitment in serving justice and safeguarding the rights of our OFWs,” Salo, chairperson of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, said in a statement on Thursday.

“We believe that lifting the deployment ban is warranted as a recognition of Kuwait's efforts to address concerns regarding the welfare and safety of OFWs," he added.

Salos expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the DMW, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Embassy officials, including the Ambassador and Labor Attache in Kuwait, for their unwavering dedication in seeking justice and accountability for Ranara’s case.

“This decision is a testament to the collaborative efforts of both the Philippine and Kuwaiti authorities in ensuring that justice prevails for Jullebee Ranara," Salo said.

In September 2023, a juvenile court in Kuwait convicted the 17-year-old suspect.

Ranara, a 35-year-old household worker, was found dead in a desert in Kuwait in January 2023. (with a report from Zaldy De Layola/PNA)