AN AUTOPSY by Philippine investigators showed that a Filipina allegedly killed in the hands of her employer was sexually abused, the Justice department said on Sunday.

“There were clear indications of sexual abuse,” Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra told reporters in a group message, citing the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) autopsy of Filipina housemaid Jeanelyn Villavende.

NBI agents will submit a report to him on Monday, he said.

NBI medico-legal division chief Ricardo Rodaje conducted the autopsy on Jan. 10 in Cotabato, near Ms. Villavende’s residence, Mr. Guevarra said.

The justice secretary ordered the autopsy last week and said government prosecutors would look at potential liabilities of the Filipina worker’s recruiters.

Ms. Villavende was allegedly beaten up, according to preliminary reports, while a certificate of embalmment from Kuwait showed she died from heart and respiratory failure due to injuries on her vascular system.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration this month stopped the deployment of Filipino housemaids to Kuwait after Ms. Villavende’s death and other reports of maltreatment.

Mr. Guevarra last week said the department could only provide legal assistance because Kuwaiti authorities have exclusive jurisdiction over the case.

Ms. Villavende’s body arrived in the Philippines on Jan. 8. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas