“Give them justice, not clemency.” This was the call of relatives of OFWs facing the death sentence and those who continue to languish in jail, as they, together with Migrante International, trooped to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) last November 20. The DFA official who faced them, after making them wait for almost two hours, thinks otherwise, even advising them to ask their relatives to just admit to the crimes – they did not commit – and ask for forgiveness.
BY RONALYN OLEA and ANGIE DE LARA
Families of overseas Filipino workers facing the death sentence and those who are currently languishing in jails abroad appealed anew to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to assist their relatives, but were given a cold reception by the department.
Relatives of Cecilia Alcaraz, brothers Edison and Rolando Gonzales, and Regor de Padua together with Migrante International sought a dialogue with Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos last Nov. 20.
Alcaraz is an English teacher in Taiwan who was sentenced to death by firing squad for allegedly killing her employer.
The Gonzales brothers, along with Eduardo Arcilla, were convicted for the crime of murdering a fellow OFW, and sentenced to death by beheading by the Lower Court in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The sentence was upheld by the Appellate Court on Sept. 15 even as the Gonzales brothers and Arcillo presented testimonies saying that they were tortured to admit to the crime.
De Padua has been working as a driver in Jeddah for only two months when he was arrested for allegedly running over two Arab nationals.