Tuesday , August 21 2018

Embassy to appeal Pinay term – Legal team to seek commutation of 10-year sentence

Photo shows a Filipina who pledged allegiance to Islamic State. – MoI photo

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 28: The Philippine Embassy through its legal counsel will appeal the 10-year sentence handed by the Kuwait Court of First Instance against a Filipina household service worker (HSW) for allegedly pledging allegiance to the jihadist militant group ISIS and plotting attacks in Kuwait.

“We fully respect the decision of the Kuwaiti Court and the judicial process. On the other hand, we will file an appeal through our legal team before the Kuwait Court of Appeals for the commutation of her sentence,” disclosed on Wednesday Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro O Villa.

The Filipina, who worked as a household service worker has been imprisoned at the Kuwait Central Jail in Sulaibiya after she was arrested by Kuwaiti State Security officers last August. She was born in 1984 and entered Kuwait as a housemaid in June this year. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the authorities monitored one of the email accounts of the Filipina who was reportedly using a fake name and a nickname to avoid monitoring.

Kuwaiti authorities said their surveillance showed that the woman used the Telegram messaging application on her mobile phone to contact her Somali husband in Libya who has an alleged link with the DAESH or ISIS. They alleged that she had only been waiting for the chance to conduct a suicide bombing attack in Kuwait.

The Philippine Embassy provided the Filipina a lawyer to help her on her case who cited that she has been a victim of some circumstances. Villa visited the Filipina at the Sulaibiya Central Jail on Tuesday and assured her of the embassy’s assistance. “We would like to thank the Kuwait authorities at the Sulaibiya Central Jail for giving her due process and protecting her rights under the Kuwait law and for guaranteeing her safety.

We highly appreciate that they are taking care of her and all other Filipino inmates,” pointed out Villa. Villa has also reminded all Filipino nationals to be wary and extra cautious when chatting with strangers online who might have some terror link to spare them from further legal trouble as Kuwait has strict cyber crime laws and authorities can easily trace online activities with the advanced monitoring system. The Ambassador has reiterated the Philippines’ unwavering support to Kuwait’s anti-terror campaign in light of this recent verdict on the Filipina terror suspect and assured the host government of the Philippines’ utmost cooperation on this case. Kuwait has embarked on an aggressive anti-terror campaign after the suicide bombing attack on Al Sadiq Mosque on June 26, 2015 that killed 27 people and wounded 227 others.


By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

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