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King of Bahrain grants royal pardon to 2 OFWs; Duterte extends thanks

By: Krissy Aguilar - Inquirer.net | June 12,2020 - 07:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed thanks to Bahrain King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa for granting royal pardon to two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who had served sentences for the death of a foreign national.

Roderick Aguinaldo and Edward Benjamin Garcia have returned to the country and to their families, a statement from Malacañang Friday said.

“The President extends his deepest gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain for pardoning Roderick Aguinaldo and Edward Benjamin Garcia,” the statement read.

Both Aguinaldo and Garcia were granted royal pardon on Eid’l Fitr, it said.

In 2018, the President appealed to the King of Bahrain to commute Aguinaldo’s death sentence. The Bahraini government in turn vowed not to carry out the capital punishment.

“The President considers the Royal Pardon a testament to the deep ties between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Bahrain and to the strong friendship with His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa,” it said.

“The President remains committed to further strengthen Philippines-Bahrain bilateral ties across all areas of mutual interest, including in cooperation for the protection and promotion of the welfare of Filipinos in the Kingdom,” it added.

Eleven of the 16 OFWs who were earlier granted pardon had already returned to the country, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) earlier said.

DOLE said the deportation of the four others were still being arranged while the other one pardoned for drug trafficking still faces a seven-year jail term for human trafficking.

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