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June 20 2009 | KUWAIT


Emir Al-Sabah releases Filipino May Vecina, thanks to mediation of Manila's Government

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Philippine Daily Inquirer   

Kuwaiti emir pardons Filipino maid in jail

Vice President Noli De Castro on Wednesday night announced that Filipino domestic helper May Vecina, whose death sentence was commuted to life by the emir of Kuwait in 2008, has been pardoned and would be released soon.

De Castro, presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers, said from New York that the good news was confirmed to him by Foreign Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos Jr.

He said the Philippine embassy in Kuwait was making the necessary preparations for the homecoming of Mecina to the Philippines.

"Ito ay napakagandang balita para sa ating bayan lalu na sa pamilya at mahal sa buhay ni May. Muli, dininig ang ating dalangin ng ating Panginoon (This is great news for our country, especially for May’s family and loved ones. Once again, the Lord heard our prayers)," De Castro said.

Kuwaiti courts found Vecina guilty of killing her employer's 7-year-old son Salem Sulaiman Al-Otaib on January 6, 2007. She was also found guilty of attempting to kill the victim's 13-year-old brother Abdulla by slitting the boy's throat, and his 17-year-old sister Hajer by stabbing her.

At her trial, Vecina claimed that she suffered physical and mental abuse from her employer, which led her to lose her mind.

But the Kuwaiti Supreme Court upheld Vecina's death penalty last May, prompting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to send De Castro and other officials to Kuwait to plead again with the Kuwaiti ruler.

On July 8, 2008, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah signed a decree commuting May Vecina's death sentence to life imprisonment.

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