Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An OFW appeal to Philippine Government Authorities 6

Happy New Year to all. I hope that the year 2010 will bring more prosperity, happiness, less tragedies and calamities. However, we can only hope for the best. It is our job to do the best of our abilities.

I received another email from our fellow Filipino, Dondon Celestino Lanuza, who has been jailed in Saudi Arabia for nearly ten long years. Despite his repetitive pleas to our public officials, his words fell on deaf ears. In the spirit of the season and compassion, I request all my friends to spread this blog entry so that our fellowman will be set free. Thank you.

Reposted with permission Dondon Celestino Lanuza December 30 at 10:01pm

To whom it may concern,

KSA Crown Prince Sultan declared BIG PARDON two days ago and it will last after 3 months. Marami na po lumaya na Saudi Nationals in 3 days at sa next week po ay mga Foreigners convicted na ang papalayain. Eto po ang mga mapapalaya:
- All Minor Cases.
- Drug Cases (Receiver, Selling, User).
- Drug Cases (Smuggling) all files sent to King.
- 65 % of Prisoners are Drug Cases.
- Debt / Credit / Money Cases below 50 thousand riyals will pay by the Saudi Government.
- Murder / Homicide will send files to King.
Lahat ng may Sentened na wala pang Maamala (Files) at yung wala pang Sentenced ay minamadali na maayos para makalaya.
Our Embassy in Riyadh are still not aware of the GOOD NEWS.
Lahat ng Foreigners ay hiningan na ng Ticket at ipaayos na ang EXPIRED PASSPORT.
Im appealing all of you here to please kindly assist me reach my files to King Abdullah and to Crown Prince Sultan. Ambassador Villamor is enjoying his vacation in Manila. Im begging you all down on my knee to please use and contact all your connections for my Case. Madalas mangyari po dito sa Saudi pag kinausap ng Hari o Crown Price ang Aggrieved Party na pe-presyohan na nila ang pamilya ng malaking halaga na TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT dahil ilalabas ko ang Nakapatay kahit di ka magpatawad.
Umaasa po sa inyong tulong para maibalik ang aking KALAYAAN NA MATAGAL KO NA PO MINIMITHI.
Happy New Year sa inyong lahat
Rodelio Don2 Lanuza
OFW on Deathrow

News Release
Blas F. Ople Policy Center
December 30, 2009

Ople calls on VP de Castro and the DFA to work for the release of detained OFWs eligible for royal pardon by the Saudi King

As the nation observes Rizal Day, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center called on the Department of Foreign Affairs to strengthen its initiatives to reach out and assist distressed overseas Filipino workers dubbed by the national government as "modern-day heroes".

For example, Susan Ople, president of the Center, noted that a number of Filipino workers now detained in various jails in Saudi Arabia are calling out to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Philippine Emabssy officials to work for their early release arising from a royal pardon issued by the Saudi King last December 11.

"Here is a golden opportunity for the national government to show its concern for Filipinos in various jails in Saudi Arabia who may be eligible for inclusion in the royal pardon," the former labor undersecretary said, citing the King's initiative that would cover inmates charged with minor crimes and misdemeanors.

The Ople Center has received a flurry of text messages from Filipinos currently detained in Damman Central Jail in Saudi Arabia seeking help from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

One such inmate said that the Indian Embassy had already sent a team to work out the release of their nationals who are eligible for the pardon, while the Filipinos in jail continue to wait for a team from the Philippine Embassy to visit them.

"Our detained kababayans and their families here at home are pinning their hopes on the Philippine government to do its share to lobby for the release of OFWs detained on minor charges so they could start afresh with a New Year here at home to look forward to," Ople added.

Dondon Lanuza, an OFW on death row at Dammam Central Jail, also texted the Ople Center to report that 120 prisoners had been released the other day because of the royal pardon. Lanuza is among those seeking the help of the Philippine government for the inclusion of his name on the list of those who wish to avail of the royal pardon."Dondon wanted to know if he could be included in the list of those to be considered for pardon. I hope that the Philippine Embassy and the DFA can mobilize its own team to clarify and respond to the many questions and requests from detained OFWs and their families," the OFW advocate said.

Another texter is Jess Pamintuan, an OFW who was sentenced to 9 months in jail by the Saudi court, but who continues to remain in jail months after completing his sentence. "Marami na pong pinalayang Saudi nationals. Next week, mga foreign workers na. Sana maagapan po ng Philippine Embassy at matulungan nila kaming makasama sa pardon," Pamintuan said in his SMS to Ople.

"We appeal to the national government especially to Vice-President Noli de Castro to spearhead efforts to make full use of this royal pardon to gain freedom and a fresh start for as many detained Filipinos as possible," the Ople Center said.

Two weeks ago, to mark the return of Crown Prince Sultan, Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques King Abdulla ordered the release of some prisoners
held for public rights who do not pose any danger to public security.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif, who made the
announcement, said the royal pardon would cover those who were detained
or sentenced to jail for petty crimes and violations.
“It will also benefit those being held for not paying public rights after paying private rights,” said Prince Naif, based on interviews with the Saudi press.
In other words, prisoners who have already reconciled their punitive
obligations to crime victims or their next of kin (such as compensation
for damages) would have their punishments from the state ended. This
category does not include violent offenders or those arrested for
“major crimes.”

The Ople Center expressed hope that Vice-President Noli de Castro in his role as presidential adviser on OFW affairs can visit Saudi Arabia and make proper representation in behalf of Filipino prisoners in varoius jails in the said Kingdom.
Rodelio 'Don2' Lanuza
OFW in Deathrow (K.S.A.)
Life is the most important and sacred human right... The human blood is impermissible and nobody dares shed it... He who endangers the life of one person is considered to be endangering all mankind...

You must read these:
OFW appeal to Philippine Government Authorities Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

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