AFTER two long years, President Rodrigo Duterte is finally visiting Iloilo on Thursday, February 22.
But unlike his celebratory campaign visit in Iloilo in April 2016, Duterte’s visit is blue, as he is set to pay his respects to the family of slain overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafiles of Barangay Ferraris, Sara town in northern Iloilo.
Malacañang said Duterte is expected to arrive in Sara town around 1 p.m. at the Demafiles residence, where the family led by Joanna’s parents, Ana and Crisanto, would be waiting.
Also expected to welcome the President are Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., Representative Raul Tupas, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, and Acts-OFW partylist Representative Aniceto Bertiz III, among other local government officials.
The death of Demafiles is the final nail in the coffin that made the President order the repatriation of OFWs in Kuwait who want to return to the Philippines, as well as ban the deployment of OFWs bound for Kuwait.
Demafiles’ body was found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait weeks after Duterte warned that he will order the pullout of OFWs in Kuwait once another report of abuse will reach him.
It is believed that Demafiles body had been stored in the freezer for more than a year now. Her remains were brought to Iloilo on February 17.
Duterte, after his visit in Sara, is scheduled to visit the Philippine Army’s Camp Adriano Hernandez in Dingle, Iloilo, to lead the launching of TiendDA Farmers and Fisherfolk Outlet.
James Earl Ogatis, Department of Agriculture (DA)-Western Visayas public information officer, said TienDA is a marketing scheme that allows farmers and fisherfolk to directly sell their produce in military camps nationwide. The project is in partnership with the Department of National Defense.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will be in Dingle to join the President in the launching of various DA projects, particularly the turnover of egg layer and machines to the project beneficiaries, the Wounded-in-Action (WIA) soldiers.
Duterte is also set to award to WIA soldiers the Lapu-Lapu Presidential Awards. (SunStar Philippines)