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PIA Press Release

DFA repatriates OFW in Riyadh death row

Manila (9 November) -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) repatriated an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was sentenced to death for killing his two Filipino co-workers.

Nonito Abono arrived on November 4, 2010 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport aboard Qatar Airways. He was welcomed by his family, DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) Executive Director Ricardo Endaya, DFA-OUMWA Special Assistant Enrico Fos, DFA-OUMWA Principal Assistant Melvin Almonguera and representatives from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

Mr. Abono also made a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo and Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban B. Conejos Jr. to thank them for the DFA's efforts to secure the commutation of his sentence and his repatriation.

The commutation of his sentence was made possible through the vigorous representations made by the DFA and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh to persuade the families of the victims to grant the tanazul (affidavit of forgiveness).

The Embassy extended assistance to him since the inception of the case. It also took the appropriate measure to ensure that Mr. Abono's rights under Shariah law were protected.

DFA-OUMWA assisted his family in raising the blood money asked by the heirs of the victims. To further expedite his release and repartriation, the DFA's Legal Assistance Fund was utilized to cover the payment of the penalty for the expiry of his iqama (residence permit).

In June 2003, Mr. Abono killed his two Filipino co-workers inside their company's premises, after a drunken altercation the night before.

The Embassy secured Mr. Abono's release, after its strong representations and that of the Philippine Government to spare his life and his serving two-thirds of the sentence. The families of the victims also forgave him in exchange for blood money, thus settling the private rights aspects of the case. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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