Malacañang Saturday thanked Emir Seikh al-Thani of Qatar for pardoning 15 jailed Filipinos in time for the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on state-run dzRB radio: "Nagpapasalamat tayo sa Emir of Qatar, si Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani sa paggawad ng kapatawaran o clemency sa 15 Pilipino sa panahon ng Ramadan.
Also, Coloma said the clemency was a manifestation of a continuing good relationship between the Philippines and Qatar.
Meanwhile, earlier reports indicated that the Philippine Embassy in Doha, in a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, said that preparations are underway for the immediate repatriation of the 15 expats.
In Qatar, the practice of granting clemency covers only those jailed offenders who have served a substantial portion of their sentence.
Pardons are issued twice a year—during Ramadan and the other occasion is the Qatari National Day, which is observed every December.
The granting of clemency for the 17 Filipinos was announced on June 7.
In 2011, at least 25 Filipinos held in Qatari detention facilities for various offenses were granted clemency by the Emir. —LBG, GMA News