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PIA Press Release

PGMA thanks Kuwaiti Emir for grant of pardon to Pinay OFW

Manila (17 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thanked Kuwaiti Emir Sheik Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for granting a royal pardon to a formerly-condemned Filipina Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Kuwait as she returns home to the Philippines soon.

"Upon the intercession of the President, OFW May Vecina's death penalty was reduced to imprisonment by the Emir of Kuwait last July 8, 2008.

Almost a year later, on June 1, 2009, the Emir granted amiri pardon to Ms. Vecina with release order, according to Deputy Presidential Spokesman Dr. Anthony Golez during Monday's press briefing at the New Executive Building (NEB) in Malacaņang, San Miguel, Manila.

Golez said the latest amiri pardon confirmed by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior means that Vecina could be repatriated to Manila within 30 days.

"OFW Vecina's life would not been saved without the President's intercession," the Palace official told reporters.

"If OFW Vecina's life would not been saved without the President's intercession, her death penalty will be reduced to imprisonment in 2008 and the Amiri will grant pardon with release and repatriation," Golez

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) today reported that domestic helper May Vecina was granted what is known as the Amiri pardon from the Emir of Kuwait on June 1 and will be released from the Sulaibiya central jail in Kuwait.

Vecina was originally meted the death sentence by the Kuwaiti Supreme Court on April 1, 2008 but this was reduced to life. Through the personal intercession of President Arroyo with the Emir, clemency was granted.

Vecina was convicted of murder and two counts of frustrated murder. She was sentenced to hang for stabbing to death her employer's seven-year old son and wounding her two other children, a 13-year old son and 17-year old daughter.

The Amiri pardon is granted annually by H.H. The Amir, Sheikh Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al-Sabah to deserving convicts on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan. (PIA) [top]

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