By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com)
MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino migrant workers’ rights group has called on presidential frontrunner Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to reveal his plans to save Filipino laborers now languishing on death row in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Monterona said it would be better for Aquino to divulge his administration’s plans to at least give legal assistance to the more than 20 overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia jails.
Monterona made an appeal after a convicted Sudanese man was beheaded in Assir region, southwestern Saudi Arabia, last June 5 for murder.
“Aquino wouldn’t want to witness an OFW-on-death row execution or beheading under his term; then he must exert all efforts in saving OFWs on death row,” he said.
He said families and relatives of these OFWs have beeen complaining that the Department of Foreign Affairs seldom gives them an update on the condition or the status of the OFWs’ cases.
“Assuming that an OFW on death row has indeed committed the crime, he still deserves to be given legal assistance by hiring a local lawyer for his defense, and this is a basic and inalienable human right – the right to defend ones’ self in court, even in a shariah court,” Monterona said.