By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter
Nine Filipinas were pardoned by HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on the occasion of the Qatar National Day (December 18), Ambassador Crescente Relacion has said.
He disclosed that seven out of the nine women were convicted of immorality while two others of theft. Each had been sentenced to serve one year in prison.
“It is unsure if all were already repatriated to the Philippines but none of the nine is in our latest list of detainees as of January 16,” noted Relacion.
The Philippine embassy had been regularly sending requests for commutation of jail sentences on two occasions: during the Holy Month of Ramadan and the Qatar National Day.
The Emir has also pardoned 18 Filipinos serving different sentences last year during the Ramadan. Eight of those freed had been charged with immorality, three with theft, two each with selling liquor and breach of trust and one each with possession of illegal drugs, fraud and unpaid loan.
The ambassador and other embassy officials had been repeatedly reminding Filipino expatriates to abide by the laws, norms and traditions of the host country to avoid being jailed.
Leaders of various Filipino organisations and the embassy thanked the Emir for pardoning their compatriots who committed criminal offenses.
“It only shows the compassion, the love and the value of life by the Emir,” Jhin Tabuzo, chairman of the United Filipino Organisations in Qatar, told Gulf Times. “It is a manifestation of a great leader who values the importance of it.”
Echoing the statements of the ambassador, he urged all Filipino expatriates to behave responsibly , citing the strict implementation of laws in the country.
He also reiterated the importance of attending briefings and orientations before working abroad.
Vice-consul Melvin Almonguera has earlier disclosed that around 100 more Filipinos were serving various sentences while others had ongoing cases in courts.
It is learnt that those who have been convicted of serious crimes are held at the Central Jail while those with lighter offences are detained at the Deportation Centre, awaiting repatriation.