By Argyll Cyrus Geducos and Leslie Ann Aquino
Malacañang extended its condolences to the family of the female overseas Filipino worker who was executed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the Kingdom has executed the Filipina household worker found guilty in a 2015 murder case.
“I would like to express our condolences to the bereaved family of the Filipina who has been executed,” Panelo said in his Thursday Palace press briefing.
According to Panelo, the government did its best to help the 39-year-old Filipina.
“Our government extended help to this Filipino. We provided lawyers for her, we gave regular updates to the family, it’s just unfortunate that this particular case,” he said.
“The Sharia law does not apply where blood money can be a reason to stop the execution. So we condole with the family, but we tried. The DFA tried very hard to help,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, said the news was very sad and tragic especially since it involves one of our own “kababayan”.
“It is regrettable that legal assistance to our 39 years old Filipina was not enough,” he said in an interview.
“We commend to God her eternal rest,” added Santos.
The Balanga prelate expressed hope that assistance and help would be extended to the kin of the Filipina.
Bishop Santos also asked everyone to pray always for the safety and security of our overseas Filipino workers.
“We, at CBCP ECMI, remember and remind all that our OFWs are honest, hardworking and they are always ready to help one another. That is the true nature of our OFWs,” he said.
According to DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, Saudi Arabia authorities carried out the sentence last Tuesday and her family was notified of her death the following day.
The DFA is now working on the repatriation of the Filipina’s remains.
Cato declined to provide additional information on the Filipino’s identity, as well as the murder case she was involved in, citing the request for privacy of her next of kin.
According to Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Adnan Alonto, the embassy has provided her with legal assistance to represent her in all stages of trial and has provided her family in the Philippines regular updates about her case. In addition, representatives were sent to visit her in Saudi jail, he added.
The agency extended condolences to her bereaved family.
The Filipino’s execution is the second in two years after Jakatia Pawa in Kuwait on Jan. 25, 2017. Pawa, who was executed by hanging, was buried the day after in Kuwait.
The DFA has yet to issue information if the remains of the executed Filipino from Saudi Arabia will be repatriated soon. (With reports from Leslie Aquino, Roy Mabasa and PNA)
Read more: OFW executed in Saudi for murder