At least 25 overseas Filipino workers detained in Qatar for various offenses were granted a royal pardon by the Emir of Qatar on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
Bello said he has conveyed the gratitude of President Rodrigo Duterte to Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al Thani for his act of compassion.
“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.
The pardoned workers are soon to be repatriated and receive assistance from the government, he said.
Bello graced a gathering of more than 4,000 Filipino migrant workers in Doha in observance of Philippine Independence Day organized by the Philippine Embassy in the oil-rich country.
The event, which coincided with the celebration of Ed’l Fitr, was also attended by the Qatar Minister of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs, Dr. Essa Bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi and other Qatari officials.
“I also join our migrant workers in expressing our sincere gratitude for the generosity of His Excellency Minister Nuaimi in co-hosting the gathering,” he said.
Most of the pardoned workers have been imprisoned for bouncing checks and a handful for drug and adultery cases. They have been in detention for months.