Dubai ruler’s wife seeks ‘forced marriage protection order’ in English court

Robie de Guzman   •   July 31, 2019   •   1574

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein | Courtesy: Reuters

The wife of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has applied for a “forced marriage protection order” in England’s High Court in relation to one of her two children.

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, the 45-year-old Jordanian daughter of late King Hussein and half-sister to King Abdullah, also applied for a “non-molestation order,” which protects from harassment or threats. It was not clear who this order was in relation to.

Princess Haya was seen leaving the High Court of England and Wales on Tuesday (July 30) after she had also applied for wardship, which means a child is placed in the hands of the court for major decisions.

A forced marriage protection order helps if someone says they have been forced into marriage or are already in a forced marriage, according to official British legal definitions.

When asked about the court proceedings, an official at the London embassy of the United Arab Emirates said: “The UAE government does not intend to comment on allegations about individuals’ private lives.”

Representatives of the sheikh did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Dubai government media office declined to comment on “a private matter that is being resolved in the court”.

The 70-year-old sheikh, who is also vice-president of the UAE, wed the princess, a former member of the International Olympic Committee, in 2004 in what was believed to be his sixth marriage. He has more than 20 children by different wives.

Princess Haya, who competed in equestrian jumping in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, has often attended Britain’s Royal Ascot horse races with Sheikh Mohammed.

Princess Haya attended the court hearing in London. Sheikh Mohammed did not. Two of Britain’s most famous family lawyers are representing the two parties: Fiona Shackleton is representing Haya and Helen Ward is representing Sheikh Mohammed.

“These proceedings are concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances,” the two parties said in a joint statement issued by the High Court earlier this month.

Last September Amnesty International said Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, one of the sheikh’s daughters by a different wife, was believed to be held incommunicado in an undisclosed location in the UAE after being forcibly returned in March after fleeing Dubai with the help of friends on a boat that was later intercepted.

The UAE foreign ministry said in December that Sheikha Latifa was home and living with her family, denying as “false” media reports citing a widely circulated self-recorded video by Latifa accusing the family of abusing and restricting her. (REUTERS)

(Production: Chris Read)

Afghanistan Crisis: OFWs escape to Dubai, Qatar with help from employers

Marje Pelayo   •   August 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Relatives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Afghanistan confirmed with UNTV that their family members have reached Dubai safely after narrowly escaping the unrest in the Taliban-controlled country.

From Dubai, they are expected to return home to the Philippines soon.

On Tuesday (August 18), 35 Filipinos arrived in the Philippines from Afghanistan.

Based on records of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are around 130 Filipinos in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Joseph Glenn Gumpal, who acts as president of the Samahang Pilipino in Afghanistan, said 11 more Filipinos have already made it to Qatar with the help of their employers.

UNTV was able to get in touch with other stranded Filipinos in Afghanistan whose fates remain uncertain after a series of flight cancellations.

Among them is Rio Adrias, who confirmed that they are in constant communication with the Philippine Embassy in Pakistan which has jurisdiction over Filipinos in the Afghan country.

The only problem, Rio said, was that the chartered flight that they were supposed to board on Tuesday was canceled and they were told that they would need to take a commercial flight.

“Hindi pa rin po namin malaman kung kailan makakalapag ang eroplano dito sa Kabul kasi puno pa rin po ng tao ang Kabul airport. Hindi pa rin po lumilikas nasa 10,000 Afghan po ang naghihintay [na] doon na po natutulog,” she said.

Rio is one of the 24 Filipinos currently staying in a shelter some distance away from Kabul airport.

As for their personal needs, Rio said they still have enough supply for several days.

They also worry, however, for the safety of other Filipinos stranded in areas with no access to food and proper lodging.

“Sa pamilya ko, huwag kayong mag-alala ako’y nakakangiti pa pero ako’y naiiyak. Pero doon po sa gobyerno po natin sana po talaga una, matulungan nyo kaming mailikas talaga dito kaming lahat na gustong umuwi kasi talagang ang hirap,” Rio said asking for government support.

“Hindi safe. Hindi kami okay. Hindi namin ma-explain yung pakiramdam namin dito,” she added.

Rio said if she makes it back to the Philippines, she would never go back to Afghanistan.

All she asks for is a livelihood support from the Philippine government in recognition for their contribution to the country’s economy. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

PAL cancels flights between Dubai and Manila until June 30

Marje Pelayo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Following the extension of the Philippines’ travel ban on arrivals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) until June 30, the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines cancelled a number of flights bound for Dubai.

The cancelled flights include those scheduled on June 16, 23 and 30 with flight numbers PR658 and PR659 Manila-Dubai-Manila.

Meanwhile, PAL flights to and from Qatar (Doha) and Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Dammam) are continuing, and the firm intends to operate all of these flights to cater to the travel needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

“We remind our passengers that PAL is occasionally compelled to cancel certain flights from time to time to comply with capacity limitations at Manila airport,” the airline explained in an advisory.

“When a temporary shortage develops in the allocation of hotel rooms for OFWs in Metro Manila and environs, we may be forced to cancel at the last moment,” it further said.

PAL explained an incident that happened on June 6 when the airline had to fly an empty aircraft from Riyadh to Manila because it was not allowed by the government to board the passengers who had been waiting to take the flight home.

For the period June 1 to June 15, the airline has recorded a total of 12 force majeure affecting its routes to Dammam, Doha and Riyadh.

These cancellations were due to the shortage of quarantine accommodations and other limitations, as advised by the Philippine government, the airline said.

Overall during the said period, the cancellations affected an estimated 10,000 passengers.

“We sincerely regret the inconvenience to our passengers, and seek their kind understanding that this is a situation beyond our control,” the airline stressed.

As an alternative, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and PAL have been coordinating to arrange special repatriation flights to ferry stranded passengers from the Middle East, including a repatriation flight last June 14 from Dubai and more that we hope to set up next week.

All affected passengers may opt to avail of the following options:

1. Convert your ticket to a Travel Voucher;

2. Avail of unlimited rebooking (no rebooking fee) until December 31, 2021. If you will be completing your travel in the same booking class by June 30, 2021 (or ticket validity, whichever comes first), there will be no fare difference charge;

3. Refund your ticket without penalties.

Any request may be coursed through the MyPAL Request Hub.

MCGI brings hope in a time of pandemic; gives away free food, goods to the poor

Marje Pelayo   •   April 12, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — In celebration of the life and legacy of Brother Eli Soriano, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) set up a week-long public service to Filipinos and foreign beneficiaries in its various chapters in the Philippines and abroad.

The project entitled, “The Legacy Continues” is a tribute to Brother Eli’s unrelenting service to the poor and those in need during his lifetime.

The week-long celebration ran from April 4 to 10 and served thousands of beneficiaries here and abroad.

First among its public services is the MCGI Free Store where recipients can get their basic needs for free.

“Minsan kapag tinitignan mo parang imposible na mayroong ganun na manlilibre. Lahat nga tayo natamaan ng pandemya pero despite of that, itong MCGI ay gumawa pa rin ng paraan para at least kahit papaano makatulong sa mga nangangailangan,” said beneficiary Jerry Lingaling.

Among the beneficiaries are persons with disability (PWDs), persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) and people of all ages, from all walks of life across the globe.

“I am actually surprised that there is such an organization.. It’s such a better world if everyone is willing to cooperate together,” said Aaron Quay, a Malaysian location/event planner in Kuala Lumpur who helped MCGI Malaysia chapter in organizing the event.

The project set the social media abuzz with images, videos and testimonies of recipients sharing their heartwarming experiences inside the MCGI Free Store.

One of them is Ederlinda Clariza who said it was her first time to experience shopping. Her image was captured by netizen Heidee Baderamos.

Pasensya na hindi ako Marunong mag grocery
First time ko kasi ito

Simula maliit anak ko yung gatas nya sa tindahan…

Posted by Heidee R Balderamos on Friday, April 9, 2021

Netizen Josie Carl Le Blanc posted on his social media page that he left his house with only a P20-bill in his wallet but was grateful to go home with a bag full of free items from the MCGI Free Store.

Bente lang laman ng wallet ko, pero binigyan ako ni Lord ng libreng grocery 🥰

Thankyou
Dating Daan
#FREESTORE
Thankyou 😘😘
Mark Kabigting Cenizal
Lea Lizli-an Libaste Amper

Posted by Josiecarl Leblanc on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Meanwhile, frontline medical workers of the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City also took part in the initiative.

Instead of keeping the food packs from MCGI for themselves, they chose to give them to their patients.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa MCGI Feeding Program kasi napakasarap ang tumulong lalo sa mga maliliit, sa mga less fortunate na katulad ng mga in-patient natin,” said Esther dela Cruz, the Center’s assistant chief dietician.

An Unexpected Reunion

Sa mga taong nag ppm po sakin, pasensya na at di ko po kayo maisa-isa. salamat sa Dios kasama na ni Kuya Frederick ang…

Posted by Kath C. Calibayan on Saturday, April 10, 2021

Netizen Kath Calibayan posted the heartwarming story of a homeless beneficiary who was able to reunite with his loved ones after his photo at the feeding program led to a way back home.

Kath received a text message from the man’s relatives after she posted his picture receiving a food pack from MCGI.

Kath’s posts showed the man’s new look after he was reunited with his family.

 

In Service to Humanity

From April 4 to 10, the MCGI was able to render the following services in the Philippines and abroad (as of April 11, 2021):

MCGI FREE STORE
(Recipients may shop for free items they need from the store.)

Beneficiaries – 77,558
Locations – 2,030

MCGI FEEDING PROGRAM
(Recipients receive free food packs prepared by MCGI Volunteers)

Number of Food Packs released – 634,063
Locations – 7,484

WISH GRANTING AND TABLET REQUESTS
(MCGI grants free tablets for online classes and small livelihood packages by request)

Beneficiaries – 1,200

MCGI FREE POTABLE WATER PROJECT
(MCGI installs free water pump in remote communities in the Philippines and abroad)

Beneficiaries

Philippines
Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal
Brgy. Daraitan Tanay, Rizal
Brgy. Tubuan, Pila, Laguna
Brgy. Aplaya, Pila, Laguna
Brgy. Gabong Pook, Pila, Laguna
Bato, Camarines Sur

Abroad

Cordon Ecologico, Sta. Cruz, Bolivia
Pueblo Viejo, Colombia
Profam sector 1 Yura, Arequipa-Perú
Profam sector 2 Yura, Arequipa-Perú
Profam sector 3 Yura, Arequipa-Perú
Talanga, Honduras

The week-long activity is just the start for Members, Church of God International (MCGI) as it is brewing more genuine charity works through its servant Brother Daniel Razon.

“Salamat po sa Dios, sa isang buong taon ng Kanyang pag iingat sa atin at sa pag gabay din sa atin dito sa ating Serbisyong Bayanihan. Pero hindi po dito nagtatapos ang ating paggawa dahil sa awa’t tulong po ng Panginoon, atin pong ipagpapatuloy ang pag abot sa ating mga kapwa tao may pandemya man o wala,” said Kuya Daniel.

“Gaya po ng aral na itinawid sa atin ni Bro. Eli Soriano na gumawa ng mabuti sa lahat with God’s help and mercy Bro. Eli’s legacy of hope, faith and most especially love will continue through the good works of the Members of the Church of God International,” he concluded.

MCGI’s week-long public service activity was aired over UNTV and on the Internet through its official social media accounts.

 

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