Busted: Duterte will bring home OFWs in Jeddah’s death row? Abella said this isn’t trueadvertisement
Several blogs happily reported the good news about President Rodrigo Duterte returning home with some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are in death row in Jeddah.
The “good news” has been shared by Facebook pages such as “OFW Family,” “Pinoy Tribune,” and “KUYA Erwin Tol,” earning thousands of shares.
The articles published about the news also showed this bit by News5.
“They’ve been given the clearance. I will fly them home. Pagdating ko dito, dala ko na iyong iba,” Duterte said at the Davao International Airport on April 10 before he left for the Middle East.
This was Duterte’s response to a reporter’s question about OFWs in death row.
However, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella clarified Duterte’s answer, saying that the President was actually referring to illegal immigrant Filipinos who were granted amnesty by the Saudi government.
Abella said that Duterte could not even appeal to the Saudi king for clemency for the Filipinos in death row because the cases have yet to be finalized.
“The process has not yet reached the level of the king (it is still in the courts and judgments are not final yet), in which case, there is no place for us to be asking for this thing so let us wait for the process regarding death row issues,” he said.
“Like I said, it is not the time and place to discuss the matter, only when it has reached the king,” he added.
While clarifying Duterte’s statement, Abella said that the President misinterpreted the reporter’s question. He added that Duterte was referring to the Filipinos who are availing of Saudi’s 90-day amnesty program.
On March 29, the Saudi government announced that illegal immigrants will be allowed to process their travel documents.
“He did made mention that he would like or he likes to bring home those who take advantage of the amnesty program regarding violations of immigration rules,” Abella said.
The spokesperson added that the Philippine government will likely pay for the OFWs’ airfare if they choose to return home.
There are around 5,000 Filipinos who were estimated to take advantage of Saudi’s amnesty program, said Philippine Embassy officials.