Palace vows assistance for maltreated Saudi OFWs in filing charges

MANILA, (PNA) — Malacañang on Tuesday assured undocumented overseas Filipino workers allegedly maltreated in Saudi Arabia that they would be assisted in possible filing of charges.

“Kung may sapat na katibayan na ito ay naganap at handa silang magharap ng pormal na usapin, tutulungan po sila ng ating pamahalaan na makamit ang katarungan sa kanilang sinapit,” Presidential Communications Operations Office head Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said at a press briefing.

Several overseas Filipino workers in the oil-rich kingdom who were rounded up in a crackdown against illegal workers complained of maltreatment from Saudi authorities.

The Saudi government had earlier set Nov. 3 as deadline for the OFWs to correct their papers or they would be sent home.

Coloma also said the suggestion to hire a law firm in the KSA to assist the OFWs would still have to be reviewed by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“Ang DFA po ang tumututok sa usaping yan. Mayroon tayong konsulado heneral sa Jeddah at sila po ang magpapanukala kung ano pa mga karagdagang hakbang ang kelangan bukod sa mga naisagawa na. Hintayin natin ang rekomendasyon ng ating DFA,” he said.

The Palace earlier said the government has readied a P2 billion reintegration program for Filipinos who would be repatriated from Saudi Arabia.