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November 14, 2007

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Spare the Life of Marilou Ranario! No to Another Flor Contemplacion!

Migrante Metro Baguio strongly calls on the Arroyo administration to give its ultimate effort to save the life of Marilou Ranario. Today, November 13, the Kuwaiti Supreme Court will hear the appeal of her death sentence. The said Court is expected to give their final verdict on the appeal by next year.

Marilou Ranario, 33 years of age, is a mother of 2 and a resident of Surigao, Mindanao . For three months, her employer denied her salary and food, abused her physically and verbally, and even attempted to sell her to two men. Until she had to make the difficult decision to either end the abuse or to endure it. This led her to kill one of her employers for which she was convicted by the Kuwaiti Supreme Court in 2005.

"We believes Marilou can still be re-united with her family if the Macapagal Arroyo government would do do more to save her life". There is no more time or space for lip service as Vice President Noli de Castro did. This is a matter of life and death", said Flora Belinan, chairperson of Migrante Metro Baguio.

"Kung ang Arroyo administration ay nakapagbigay ng pera sa mga kongresista sa ano mang dahilan, sana, iligtas din nila ang buhay ng isa sa ating mga bagong bayani", she added.

Marilou is among at least 35 Filipino workers in death row in various countries.

Since March 2005, there have been already 4 overseas Filipino workers hanged due to death penalty. Just last June of this year, Rhey Cortez was sentenced to death by the Saudi Arabian government making him the 5th and most recent victim. Marilou Ranario will be the 6th OFW to be hanged if the Arroyo administration will not do something to stop the Kuwaiti Court from upholding her conviction.

Seventeen years ago, during the administration of the then Pres. Fidel Ramos, the Singapore government sentenced Flor Contemplacion to death by hanging after she was convicted for killing her ward and one Filipina friend.

We have had enough experiences of OFWs being killed on death row by hanging practiced by host countries. The Arroyo government should have learned much its lesson to be able to save our economic heroes.

In the first place, the Philippine government is to be blamed for the exodus of millions of Filipinos abroad. They are victims of poverty and joblessness in our country. They are victims of abuse and exploitation as migrant workers. They are victims of government neglect, the government calls them their economic heroes yet it has not done anything to protect and defend them from abuse and exploitation in their host countries. This is why the Arroyo administration should be made accountable for the fate of Marilou Ranario and other abused OFWs.

Migrante Metro Baguio joins its umbrella organization, Migrante International, and other democratic sectors in calling the Kuwaiti government and the Arroyo government to spare the life of Marilou Ranario.

Save the life of Marilou Ranario and other OFWs! No to another Flor Contemplacion!#

Published with financial contribution from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
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