Official wants convicted Filipinos in UAE, Middle East to serve prison term in Philippines

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Official wants convicted Filipinos in UAE, Middle East to serve prison term in Philippines

Philippine Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has urged the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to pursue treaties that would allow convicted Filipinos in the UAE, the Middle East and other countries to serve their prison term in the Philippines.

Escudero said the move would give “second chances” to convicted Filipinos, including those classified as “detention prisoners”.

There are currently 954 Filipinos jailed in the Middle East, with 293 in Asia Pacific and seven in Europe. “At the very least, we should pursue it [especially in the] Middle East and Southeast Asia where we have a huge number of Filipinos,” Escudero said on Monday (November 13).

“I think in the spirit of giving second chances and enabling our Filipino compatriots who have been convicted in a foreign land justly or unjustly, for this to be pursued through the DMW and the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs),” he added.

Escudero cited a case of Spain negotiating a treaty with the Philippines for a prisoner exchange in the 1997 Chiong sisters abduction case involving Spanish national Francisco “Paco” Larrañaga, saying that such a treaty could benefit Filipino prisoners abroad.

“Given that we have so many OFWs, whose victims may be a fellow Filipino working abroad or a foreign national, wouldn’t it be an opportune time for the Philippines to have been doing this similar thing?” Escudero asked.

The Philippines has a treaty with the UK, Thailand and Hong Kong that allows convicts to serve their prison term in their country. ICA/Expat Media


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