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NBI to probe Demafelis recruiter

By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG, With report from Tara Yap

The National Bureau Investigation (NBI) has been ordered to investigate the employment company that recruited slain overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II himself issued Department Order (DO) No. 102, which grants the NBI authority to probe Our Lady of Mt. Armel Global E-Human Resources Inc.

In his DO, Aguirre said the NBI is “hereby directed and granted authority to conduct investigation and case build-up the possible liabilities of Our Lady of Mt. Armel Global E-Human Resources Inc. in relation to the death of overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis, and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon.”

Aguirre issued the order after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque bared over the weekend that President Rodrigo Duterte asked the NBI to summon the recruiters of Demafelis.

Meanwhile, police shot down alleged “threats” directed towards the family of the slain OFW.

Over the weekend, the IPPO received orders from Police Regional Office (PRO-6) to check on claims of the family that a member or members of the Demafelis family may soon be kidnapped.

The family relayed their fear via text message to one of the staff of Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.

“Based on initial investigation, we found no threats,” said Sr. Supt. Marlon Tayaba, chief of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO).

Joejet, the oldest sibling of Joanna, admitted he does not know where the threat came from. But he surmised it may have been triggered by news of them getting financial aid from the government.

Nonetheless, the IPPO has deployed security at the Demafelis residence.

“We have police posted at the wake 24/7. They should not worry,” Tayaba added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has since reported the two principal suspects in the death of the Demafelis, Nader Essam Assaf and wife Mona Hassoun, are now in the custody of authorities in Beirut and Damascus, respectively.