30 March 2011
A Filipino migrant rights group in Saudi Arabia today urges Vice President Jejomar Binay, who will be arriving in Saudi Arabia on April 1, to plead to the host government to show mercy for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on death row in Saudi Arabia.
John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator said: “As to our monitoring, there are eight (8) OFWs on death row here in Saudi Arabia.”
Among them are Don Lanuza, Rolando and Edison Gonzales, and Eduardo Arcilla -all are incarcerated in Saudi jails.
Monterona said PH govt. intercession on the cases of OFWs on death row must be in full and serious undertaking now after the execution of the 3 Filipinos in China on Wednesday.
Monterona cited the case of Don Lanuza, incarcerated in Saudi Arabia by killing an Arab national on 2000, is a case in point. “As per the latest information, the court is just awaiting the son of the aggrieved party to reach legal age so that it could decide either to accept the blood money in exchange of forgiveness or reject it in favor of execution,” he said.
“Lanuza’s case could be considered on the ‘red flag’ as the son of the aggrieved party is to reach legal age, about 2 or 3 years from now,” Monterona added.
Monterona lamented nobody knows what action the PH government had done so far in regards to efforts of saving the 8 OFWs on Saudi death row; “thus, we are urging VP Binay to intercede by bringing this to the attention of the host government since he will be in Saudi this Friday,” he continued.
Despair after the execution; campaign to save others on death row to intensify
“Worries revived like when the time Flor Contemplacion is about to be hanged in Singapore, and we can’t avoid that a feeling of despair easily conquered us today after execution of the 3 Pinoys in China,”said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.
Monterona said this is a sad, bitter reality confronting us as a nation especially if we knew there are more than 200 of them -on death row in various countries, “We will intensify our campaign to save our fellow OFWs on death row,” he averred.
“We hope that our calls for the Aquino govt. to work hard to saving the lives of other OFWs on death row must be met with all seriousness and pro-active stance on the part of the present administration,” Monterona added.
On Monday, Monterona suggested the formation of a high-level inter-agency task force that would find ways for commutation of their death sentences and eventually spare them from execution.
The Saudi-based OFW leader re-iterates his group previous calls for an intensified campaign initiated by the government, national and international in scope, involving all concerned government agencies, to prevent OFWs being victimized by international drug traffickers and syndicates.
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 535 921228