Filipino worker executed in Saudi Arabia

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THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported on Thursday that a 39-year-old Filipino househelp was executed in Saudi Arabia last Tuesday, Jan. 29 after being found guilty of murder.

“The Department regrets that it was not able to save the life of the Filipino after the Saudi Supreme Judicial Council classified her case as one in which blood money does not apply under Shariah Law,” the DFA said in a statement.

Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan V. Alonto said the Philippine government has provided the Filipina worker with a lawyer to assist her in her trial and has updated her family in the Philippines about her case.

DFA has also “informed the next of kin who have requested for privacy during their time of bereavement.”

Both the DFA and Malacañang on Thursday extended their condolences to the family of the overseas Filipino worker (OFW).

In a press briefing at the Palace, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said the government has “tried its best” to help.

“I would like to express our condolences to the family, the bereaved family of the OFW who has been executed….It’s just unfortunate that this particular case, the Shariah 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,” Mr. Panelo said.

Saudi Arabia imposes the death penalty under its Shariah Law. Blood money is usually imposed as compensation paid to heirs of a victim to prevent an execution.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. expressed his opposition to reimposing death penalty in the Philippines following the OFW’s execution in Saudi Arabia.

“This is why we cannot adopt the death penalty; we lose the argument of respecting our culture which abhors the taking of a human life by a cold formal state justice system when we believe that a State exists to protect life,” he said in his tweet on Thursday. — Camille A. Aguinaldo