Filipino woman comes home after a decade of detention in Kuwait
After spending 10 years in prison in Kuwait, a Filipino woman who worked as a domestic helper finally came home to the Philippines on Monday, a report by the Arab Times said.
Marilou Ranario, a teacher from Surigao who was convicted to death by hanging for killing her 46-year-old employer on January 11, 2005, was spared from execution after Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh al-Ahmad commuted her sentence to life imprisonment.
“I didn’t dream of something grandiose. All I wanted was a comfortable life for my family, for my two kids. That was why I came to Kuwait to work. As I return home today, I can’t wait to be with them. I will take care of them. I just want the best for my family. Look at me, how I sacrificed for my family,” Ranario told Arab Times.
It can be recalled that then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo went to Kuwait in December 2007 to personally appeal for the lives of Ranario and another Filipino woman. Former Vice President Noli de Castro also went to Kuwait in 2006 to visit Ranario.
“I’m very happy, so happy. I can’t wait to be with my family and friends,” Ranario said.
“I would like to thank the Philippine Embassy for always visiting me in the jail and for providing me with whatever I need. But above all, I want to thank His Highness the Emir of Kuwait for saving me and of course the ever merciful God,” she added.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) welcomed the news of Ranario’s homecoming, saying that the department has ensured the protection of the Filipino’s life through a legal process.
“We are very happy that she will go home and be reunited with her family. We wish she could start anew,” said Philippine ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa.
The Arab Times said the Philippine government “paid the victim’s relatives dia or blood money” in exchange for the letter of forgiveness to save Ranario.
Migrante International, who also launched a campaign to save Ranario’s life, celebrated the news of the Filipino’s homecoming, but noted that “there is still much help needed to campaign for the lives of other OFWs on death row.”
“We are very happy for Marilou and the Ranario family. All our efforts have not been in vain, and we attribute this victory mainly to their fighting spirit and the collective efforts of friends, supporters and advocates,” said Migrante secretary-general Sol Pilla in a statement.
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