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Pinoy Abroad

Online petition to save OFW in Kuwait launched

November 3, 2007 3:34pm

Tags: Migrante
An alliance of migrant workers’ groups launched on October 31 an online petition to save the life of Marilou Ranario, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) facing death sentence in Kuwait.

Migrante International, one of the members of the alliance that spearheads the Save Marilou Ranario Movement (SMRM), lashed at President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration for what it considers as systematic criminal neglect of migrants, especially those languishing in death row.

“It is apt that we launch our online petition to save Ranario during Undas(All Saints’ Day), a time when Filipinos pay respects to deceased loved ones, because we want emphasize that we can still do something to a compatriot who is facing death," said Maita Santiago, Migrante International secretary general.

Santiago said, “Through the online petition we are circulating to various communities, we hope to mobilize massive support for Marilou and many other OFWs who are in death row in other countries before they will be executed."

“We do not want another OFW executed in foreign lands during the Arroyo administration," Santiago added.

Santiago said that Arroyo is accountable for the executions of some Filipino migrants, noting that criminal neglect of OFWs in death row occurred while her administration was raking in record-high dollar remittances.

In 2006, overseas Filipinos propped up the economy by infusing around US$12.8 billion in the Philippine economy.

According to Migrante, five OFWs have been executed under the Arroyo administration. Segio Aldana, Antonio Alvesa, Wilfredo Bautista and Miguel Fernandez were executed in March 2005 and Rey Cortez on June 13, 2007 - all beheaded in Saudi Arabia.

The appeal for Marilou Ranario, which can be accessed at http://www.PetitionOnline.com/marilou/petition.html, is addressed to Kuwait’s Amir.

Here is an excerpt of the petition: “We, the undersigned, call on your Highness to spare the life of Filipino domestic worker Marilou Ranario. It is indeed tragic that in her bid to eke out a decent living for her young family, she now faces the prospect of perhaps never seeing them again…."

The petition is in addition to the ones circulating in different communities across the Philippines since October 10, when the Save Marilou Ranario Movement was launched.

We will submit the signatures in various batches with the first one coinciding the first day of oral arguments in Marilou’s case on November 13, Santiago said.

We appeal to all of our kababayans and fiends to sign the petition and then forward it to their networks, she said.

According to her, the Save Marilou Ranario Movement aims to gather thousands of signatures the quickest way because we are in a race against time."

Ranario, 35, left a teaching job in the Philippines to work as a domestic helper in Kuwait in 2003.

She was jailed and convicted in January 2005 for the murder of her female employer Najat Mahmoud Faraj Mobarak. Kuwait’s Court of First Instance sentenced her to die by hanging eight months later. The Court of Appeals upheld the sentence last February.

The case is on final appeal before the Cessation Court, Kuwait’s highest court, and the final verdict is expected to be out in January or February 2008. - GMANews.TV

Tags: Migrante