The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of several Filipinos in a raid on a Halloween party in Riyadh, even as it reminded OFWs to respect laws and traditions of their host countries.
In a statement, the DFA said 17 Filipinos — not 19 as earlier reported — were arrested on Friday in a raid on a compound after neighbors complained of loud noise from the party.
Citing the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, the DFA said the 17 Filipinas were being held at the Al Nisa Jail in Riyadh.
"According to Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto, Embassy officials have been requesting access to the detained Filipinas since their arrest was reported on Friday," the DFA said.
Alonto said the 17 were among a number of persons who were taken into custody by Saudi intelligence operatives following the raid.
It was not immediately clear what charges will be filed against the Filipinas, although organizers of the party have been charged for holding an event without permit and for disturbing the neighborhood.
Due to this development, the DFA reminded Filipinos overseas, particularly those in the Middle East, "to be mindful of local sensitivities."
Saudi laws strictly prohibit unattached males and females from being seen together in public. —KBK, GMA News