Duterte can't seek clemency for OFWs on Saudi death row – Abella
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte cannot seek clemency for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on Saudi Arabia's death row because it is premature to do so, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said Tuesday, April 11.
In a press conference, Abella explained that the issue of OFWs on death row has not reached the level of Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
"We need to clarify that first. The process has not yet reached the level of the King, in which case there is no place for us to be asking for clemency at this stage, so let us wait for the process regarding death row issues," Abella said.
"It is not the time and the place yet to discuss the matter since it has not yet reached his level," Duterte's spokesman said in reference to Saudi Arabia's King Salman.
Abella issued this clarification after Duterte said on Monday, April 10, that he would bring home some OFWs on death row in the Middle East.
The Philippine government said 31 Filipinos face the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy that follows a strict version of Islam's sharia law.
Of this number, 23 are men and 8 are women.
Duterte is in Saudi Arabia for a two-day state visit that aims to boost ties between the two countries.
During this trip, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia will forge at least 3 agreements, including on protecting OFWs here.
The Philippines is also considering to ask Saudi Arabia's help in Duterte's anti-drug campaign. – Rappler.com