Duterte reiterates he will never help OFWs who commit crimes abroad

Duterte’s administration has recently reiterated that it will not extend any assistance to Filipinos committing crimes abroad, specifically for drugs-related crimes.

This statement came as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has released a report lately showing statistics of Filipinos around the globe who have committed crimes and were convicted. The 2016 records show that at least 4,000 Filipinos, including 140 on death row, were suffering behind bars across 52 countries and territories.

Illegal drugs topped the list in those 4,000 crimes with 1,131 in Malaysia, 459 in Saudi Arabia, 146 in China, 106 in United Arab Emirates and 63 in Italy. It is saddening to think that of those facing drug-related crimes, 473 were Filipino women, including 50 jailed or facing prosecution in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

In his speech before the barangay leaders in Pasay City last Monday, February 25, Pres. Duterte stressed, “To the Filipinos outside (the country), do not do that because you will get killed. Do not (commit) crimes, your crimes in other countries. I cannot help you and I won’t help you. Remember that.”

It is recalled that Filipino overseas worker (OFW) Mary Jane Veloso was convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia.  In 2010, she was caught carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin hidden in her luggage at Adisutjipto International Airport. She was sentenced to death by the Sleman District Court in Yogyakarta in 2010 for her crime.

There were rumors lately that she had been executed.  However, Indonesia’s General’s Office (AGO), denied the rumors.  Agus Salim, Veloso’s Indonesian lawyer, confirmed that she was still being held at the Wirogunan women’s prison in Yogyakarta.

Duterte remains strict in implementing the anti-drug law and warns all Filipinos overseas that he would never bail them out of criminal offenses.  He also cautioned foreigners to abide by the laws in the Philippines especially on drugs because they will never be spared from the country’s anti-drugs law.

“Whether as a drug lord, I do not care if you are from China, if you are from Taiwan, if you are from Malaysia. If you come here and you do that (bring illegal drugs), I will really kill you,” Duterte stressed.

“I will make this statement very, very clear. I promised you that at this time of our national life, it is the time during my time that it would be very, very dangerous for anybody to do drugs,” he added.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo clarified Pres. Duterte’s statement that he would not travel to another country to seek the pardon of Filipinos who committed crimes. If Filipinos will be involved in drug trafficking abroad, Duterte will not travel to the country where a Filipino committed drug-related crime to ask the president for pardon.  The Philippine government can provide lawyers instead.

Source: The Sun Hong Kong (https://www.sunwebhk.com/2019/02/duterte-wont-help-pinoys-committing.html)



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