Malacañang yesterday reiterated that the government, through Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., will use its influence to get some kind of leniency “to intervene for the release and acquittal” of seven Overseas Filipino Workers who have been detained in different jails in Saudi Arabia for almost 11 years.
Three of the seven OFWs are on Death Row.
In a statement, Malacanang said Yasay made the assurance to the families of the seven OFWs who are all from Pampanga during a visit to the province over the weekend.
Yasay, with former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo, met the families of the detained OFWs.
President Duterte was originally scheduled to meet the seven OFWs’ families but was unable to make it to Pampanga on Sunday.
According to Malacañang, the Chief Executive was advised not to proceed to Lubao for his supposed private engagement due to inclement weather.
During the meeting, Yasay promised the families that the government will do everything to help.
“While the government can’t give the families hope in so far as the immediate release of the OFWs is concerned, Yasay urged the families to continue to seek for the Lord’s intervention,” Malacañang said.
Of the seven OFWs, one is from Mabalacat, two from San Fernando City, and four from Mexico.
Yasay explained to the families that the release is within the legal jurisdiction of the Saudi government.
But he also said: “Papabilisin po natin ang process. Hihingi tayo ng permiso sa King (Salman) through the Saudi Ambassador.” (Elena L. Aben)