MALAYA: DFA says final verdict on OFW case on Nov. 27

Nov. 22, 2007

THE Department of Foreign Affairs admitted on Wednesday that the fate of overseas worker Marilou Ranario, who had been sentenced to die by hanging for killing her Kuwaiti employer in January 2005, will be known on Nov. 27, and not on Dec. 27 as the department “inadvertently” announced last week.

The verdict will be handed down by the Kuwaiti Court of Cassation, the country’s highest tribunal, after Ranario appealed her two convictions made by separate lower courts in 2005 and 2006.

In a text message sent to reporters, DFA spokesman Claro Cristobal said that “at a hearing on Nov. 13, the court announced it would promulgate its decision on Dec. 21. But on Nov. 14, the court announced the reset of promulgation to Nov. 27.”

Cristobal said Migrante chair Connie Regalado and Ranario’s father Rosario were advised in person by the DFA executive director of the correct date when they were at the DFA last Monday during a picket staged by Migrante.

In a press conference, Migrante deputy secretary-general Lian Santos accused the DFA of being “either guilty of deliberately concealing information or just incredibly inept.”

” The DFA has refused to provide the family with a copy of the documents on the grounds that they were ‘confidential’. By not providing the family with timely and accurate information about Marilou’s critical case, the DFA is worsening the grief they already suffer. When does information about an OFW’s case ever become ‘confidential’ to the OFW’s own family – especially when a life is at stake?” Santos said.

Ranario, now 34, was a school teacher in Surigao del Sur before she left for Kuwait to work as a domestic helper. She reportedly stabbed her employer after he allegedly “insulted her and her people.”

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