Two OFWs returning home – one dead, another lucky to be alive

June 11, 2009 11:54 am 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, June 11 —- A formerly-condemned Filipino female worker in Kuwait gets a new lease on life following a royal pardon and returns to the Philippines soon, but a compatriot with the United Nations system in Pakistan is coming back home in a coffin.

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.

It also announced that arrangements for the repatriation of the remains of U.N Children's Fund (UNICEF)worker Perseveranda Sayno So, killed in a hotel bombing in Pakistan, is underway.

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 Gloria Macapagal-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.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo has conveyed his gratitude to the Kuwaiti Amir “for his compassion and magnanimity” in granting the pardon.

Meanwhile, Romulo met with So’s family to personally convey his personal sympathies as well as the sense of loss of the Philippine Government and the Filipino people.

“Your daughter died a heroine,” he told the family, who paid him a courtesy call at the DFA in Pasay City.

Manila-based UN system representatives, such as UN acting regional director Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, and UNICEF Country Representative Vaness Tobin, were also present. (PNA) /V3/GJB/

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