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190 repatriated OFWs arrive home from Kuwait

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

REPATRIATED: One hundred ninety overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived home today from Kuwait. (Photo Courtesy: Department of Foreign Affairs)

MANILA, Philippines — Onboard Qatar Airways QR934, a total of 190 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived home today from Kuwait. Among them were 18 minors.

The repatriated OFWs were among the undocumented migrant workers who availed the amnesty program being offered by the Kuwaiti government.

As of today, April 17, a total of 4,365 OFWs were able to return home from Kuwait, according to the figures provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs. — UNTV News & Rescue

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109 undocumented OFWs return home from Dubai

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Undocumented OFWs who availed the amnesty program of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Department of Foreign Affairs

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday brought home 109 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai.

The agency has now repatriated a total of 838 OFWs since the amnesty program began in August.

The Office of Migrant Workers Affairs shouldered airline tickets, exit fines and other penalties of the returning OFWs.

Each of the repatriates were given financial assistance of P5,000 as part of the government’s “all-out support” for the returning OFWs.

“Your presence here today demonstrates the kind of care and compassion President Duterte has for our overseas workers,” Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said

She also reminded all Filipinos who are seeking employment overseas to make sure that they go through the proper application process and follow the rules and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Undocumented Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines under this program will be assisted by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes encouraged qualified Filipinos to take advantage of the UAE’s amnesty program before the 31 October 2018 deadline, to give the Embassy and the Consulate General ample time to process the necessary documents.

(Source: DFA)

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Belize under state of emergency; Filipinos warned

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

People gather on a tourist boardwalk in Belize City. Jose Cabezas/REUTERS

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has issued an advisory to overseas Filipino workers in Belize, a country in Central America, following the recent declaration of a state of emergency due to increasing criminal and gang activities.

Filipino Ambassador to Mexico Demetrio Tuason said the declaration was due to six murders recorded between August 31 to September 1.

The DFA said the measure was intended to ensure the safety of the public during Belize’s National Day celebration this month.

The advisory states that: “Under the state of emergency, authorities are authorized to incarcerate suspects for 30 days and suspected or known members of gangs may be detained for up to seven days without specific charges.”

The DFA, citing Philippine Honorary Consul in Belize Mikhal Arguelles, said the situation in Belize City is “calm and peaceful,” except in the two south side communities along George and Banak Streets, where the violence is happening.

There were no Filipinos affected by the violence, so far, but the Embassy asked all 97 Filipinos in Belize to exercise caution at all times. – UNTV News and Rescue

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Supreme Court denies Sen. Trillanes’ bid for TRO vs. void amnesty

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has denied Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s plea for a preliminary injunction and the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Proclamation 572 voiding his amnesty.

With this development, the High Court leaves the decision to the Makati Regional Trial Court whether or not to issue an alias warrant of arrest and a hold departure order against Trillanes.

“Only a trial court and in certain cases, the Court of Appeals are trier of facts. Hence it is appropriate that the Makati RTC should be given leeway in exercising their concurrent jurisdiction,” read Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra, the SC’s acting Chief PIO.

Trillanes’ camp sought to restrain on Friday the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s revocation of his amnesty granted by former President Benigno Aquino III.

The senator insisted that the nullification was unconstitutional because it proceeded without the approval of Congress which, Trillanes’ claimed, was a clear violation of his right to due process.

However, the SC maintained that the issuance of an alias warrant of arrest should be acted upon by the lower court before proceeding to the arrest.

“The court takes judicial notice of the categorical pronouncement of President Duterte that Senator Trillanes will not be apprehended, detained or taken into custody unless a warrant of arrest has been issued by the trial court and thus there is no extreme and urgent necessity for the court to issue an injunctive relief considering that the respondents have acknowledged Senator Trillanes’ right to due process,” the decision further states.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was pleased with the decision and the High Court’s recognition of the Makati Regional Trial Court’s jurisdiction as it has set the trial on the case on September 13 and 14.

“More significantly, the Supreme Court has recognized that the issue the of validity of Proclamation 752 involves factual questions that only the trial courts may properly resolve. In the process, the Supreme Court has also acknowledged the trial courts’ continuing jurisdiction over the coup d’ etat and rebellion cases, notwithstanding the alleged ‘finality’ of the orders of dismissal based on the grant of amnesty to Sen. Trillanes,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Trillanes’ camp welcomes the SC decision.

“We are gratified by the ruling of the Supreme Court. We are happy also that the Supreme Court required the respondents to comment on the petition,” explained Atty. Rey Robles, Trillanes’ legal counsel.

The respondents were given 10 days to comment on the petition. – Mai Bermudez / Marje Pelayo

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