The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is coordinating efforts to ensure due process for seven overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who admitted responsibly for the gruesome murder of three fellow Filipinos over rivalry in the operations of illegal gambling in the Kingdom.

This developed as Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas warned OFWs in Saudi Arabia to refrain from engaging in any spurious activities like illegal lottery, said to be the motive behind the dismemberment of the bodies of three (not six as earlier media reports indicated) 0FWs.

She also directed the POLO to extend and provide the necessary assistance services to the victims and their families.

“If illegal activities were behind these murders, then these indicate a clear peril facing any individual who would dare to engage in such illegal activities,” she said.

Sto. Tomas said that the DOLE’s processes to ensure documented deployment of OFWs are clearly designed against the entanglement of an OFW in acts which are illegal in nature and stand in the way of his or her productivity and success in the host country.

She said that the POLOs shall coordinate with the Philippine Missions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for purposes of cooperation with the host country to protect OFWs against such illegal activities, and to ensure the appropriate legal and humanitarian assistance to victims.

Labor Representatives to Jeddah Bulyok Nilong and David Des Dicang earlier reported to Sto. Tomas that the seven OFWs who admitted to the crime are all in the custody of Janobiyah Police Intelligence Office.

They added that the missing head of one of the victims was found but its features have been reduced to a skull and almost beyond recognition. The third victim’s body has not yet been found, the POLO also reported.

Meanwhile, police authorities have started releasing by batches to their respective sponsors other OFWs who were picked up for questioning and were cleared of involvement in any illegal activity.

source: Information and Publication Service

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