Tuesday, 22 September 2009

GMA bringing home 120 distressed Saudi-based OFWs

Manila Bulletin

Apart from bringing home fresh investments from the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President Arroyo will be returning to Manila on Wednesday, along with 120 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said.

In a radio interview, Remonde, who is accompanying the President in her Saudi visit after the Turkey and London trips, announced that the President will bring home 120 troubled Filipino workers who have been involved in various cases in Saudi Arabia where there are about 1.5 million Filipinos.

“Iuuwi namin diyan sa Pilipinas ang 120 OFWs mula dito sa Saudi Arabia. Sila ay may kaso at iba't-ibang problema rito. Ang Pangulo mismo ang mag-uuwi sa kanila ngayong Miyerkules,” he said.

In 2006, Mrs. Arroyo had a working visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where she secured the release of 200 Filipino workers languishing in Saudi jails. Her visit this year is her second to the oil-rich kingdom.

Her 2006 visit also paved the way for the release of 500 more Filipino prisoners in 2007 and 2008.

Remonde also disclosed that Mrs. Arroyo ordered Acting Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera to send a team of investigators from the National Bureau of Investigation to hunt after a group of illegal recruiters called “Taguig Mafia” that has been victimizing a number of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia.

“Initusan po ng ating Pangulo si Acting Secretary Agnes Devanadera na magpadala ng isang team ng NBI na pamumunuan ni NBI chief Nestor Mantaring para imbestigahan ang operasyon ng Taguig Mafia. Ito daw ay nagooperate ng illegal recruitment agency at sila ang responsable sa pambibiktima ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.

He also said that in her three-day stay in Saudi, Mrs. Arroyo will be meeting with Saudi business executives in Dammam to encourage them to pour in investments in the country.

Among them are Jassim Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, group chairman and chief executive officer of the Kingdom's leading Plant Construction and Maintenance Company, M.S. Al-Suwaidi Industrial Services, Co. Ltd.; Sheikh Albdulrahman Ali Al Turki, chairman of the A.A. Turki Group of Companies involved in construction and chemical industries; Sheikh Abdulaziz Abdullah Hamad Al Zamil, director and president of the Zamil Group Holding Company.

Mrs. Arroyo is due to depart Dammam for Jeddah at 1 p.m. on Tuesday (Saudi time) where she will meet with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud on Tuesday . She will also grace the inauguration of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.

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