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Oct 2, 2003
Number Of OFWs In Death Row Inaccurate; No Executions Of Pinoys Held Since 2000
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Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Franklin M. Ebdalin today said that recent reports stating that forty-four (44) overseas Filipino workers are scheduled to be beheaded in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are inaccurate.

“According to records tallied by case officers of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Worker’s Affairs (DFA-OUMWA), at present, there are only fourteen (14) Filipinos facing capital punishment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seven (7) in Riyadh and seven (7) in Jeddah. More importantly, since January of 2000, no execution of convicted overseas Filipino workers has taken place,” the Acting Secretary said.

Acting Secretary Ebdalin also dismissed claims by some NGOs that the DFA is “neglecting its duties” to assist Filipinos facing capital punishment in the Middle-East.

“The DFA has always had a consistent policy of providing assistance to our nationals abroad regardless of their financial, social or political status,” he said. “It is contrary to our mandate to turn our backs on Filipinos in distress abroad.”

The Acting Secretary pointed out the basic steps the Department takes in handling consular cases involving crime.

“Once an OFW is reported to have been involved in a crime, the Department instructs the concerned Embassy or Consulate to provide the necessary consular and legal assistance to the OFW from the investigation, appeal and final stages of the case.”
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