The Emir of Qatar has given a royal pardon to 25 Filipinos who were charged with various offences in his country, including seven women, in a gesture marking the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
Sixteen of the Filipinos were charged with fraud, three with adultery, three with theft, two with possession of illegal drugs and one over a physical assault, the Manila Times reported.
Philippines Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the pardoned Filipinos had been detained for periods of several months and would soon be repatriated with assistance from the government.
“The most kind gesture of His Highness the Emir is a testament to our strong people-to people linkages and the triumph of the human spirit. We are truly grateful,” Bello said.
An inventory of detained migrant workers has been conducted by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office. Bello said that 87 Filipinos were facing the death penalty abroad; most were in Malaysia and China, but there were also 27 in Saudi Arabia.
Qatar is one of the most popular countries for Filipino migrant workers in the Middle East, along with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.