By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG, With report from Aaron Recuenco
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced yesterday it already has in custody the endorser of slain overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis.
“Marissa Ansaji Mohammad, the person to whom Joan Demafelis was endorsed is now under the custody of the NBI NCR (National Capital Region),” said NBI Information Chief Nickanor Suarez.
The NBI has been tasked by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to investigate the employment of Demafelis, including the agency responsible for the same, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Global E-Human Resources Inc.
Apart from Mohammad, Agnes Tuballes, the alleged recruiter of Demafelis, also voluntarily surrendered to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Director Roel Obusan, CIDG chief, said Tuballes admitted her role in the recruitment of Demafelis whose cadaver was discovered inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment used to be rented by her employers, a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife.
“We are presenting her not as a suspect or a witness. She just wanted her side to be heard,” said Obusan in yesterday’s press briefing.
During the press briefing, Tuballes related she tapped Demafelis after her contact in Kuwait, a Filipino married to a Kuwaiti identified as Ara Midtimbang, told her to look for Filipinos eager to work as domestic help there.
“I was told by my sister to help her. So I helped her but I did not expect that this would end up this way,” said Tuballes.
To deploy Demafelis to Kuwait legally, she referred her to Mount Carmel Global E Human Resource, which subsequently processed all the documents Demafelis required for her employment.
For her efforts, Tuballes said she received P13,000 from the agency as commission.
Demafelis, however, did not end up with the employer promised by Midtimbang, with Tuballes unable to finish following up her papers needing to leave for Hong Kong then to work.
“I referred her to Mariz (Asnaji) who processed all her documents,” said Tuballes.
Obusan said they will continue to investigate the seeming “deception” in the employment of Demafelis.
It was found out during the initial investigation that aside from Tuballes, several other people were also working as agents for Mount Carmel.