Ten overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including one female, were pardoned by HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on the occasion of the Qatar National Day on December 18, the Philippine embassy has said.
In a statement posted on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the embassy noted that “the Emir usually issues pardons twice a year, the other during the holy month of Ramadan.”
People who were granted clemency are often those who have already served a substantial portion of their sentences.
Cota Arimao, head of Assistance to Nationals at the embassy, said the pardoned OFWs were convicted of theft, possession of illegal drugs and bounced cheques.
He noted that more than 100 Filipinos were still serving their sentences in Qatar while some had ongoing cases in courts.
The embassy is now co-ordinating with the Search and Follow-Up Department under the Ministry of Interior for the immediate repatriation of the OFWs.
“We sincerely welcome the clemency granted to 10 Filipino prisoners by HH the Emir on the occasion of the National Day, same as the previous Eid al-Fitr,” Philippine ambassador Wilfredo Santos told Gulf Times. “This shows the great compassion displayed by HH the Emir and the government of Qatar.”
In July last year, the Emir also pardoned 12 OFWs, including one female) in light of the holy month of Ramadan. In 2014, nine female OFWs who were convicted of immorality and theft also received clemency.
The embassy, as well as community members, has been continuously reminding OFWs in the country to follow the rules and regulations of the host country to avoid being jailed.