Families of Pinoys accused of spying in Qatar seek help

from a report by Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2014 08:41 PM | Updated as of May 27 2014 05:39 AM

MANILA - Three Filipinos have been convicted of espionage and economic sabotage in Qatar, with one sentenced to death and 2 others sentenced to life imprisonment.

The families of the two Filipinos sentenced to life imprisonment insist on their innocence.

One of the Filipinos worked at Qatar Petroleum for six years, until he was accused of spying in 2010.

His mother couldn't help but cry about her son's fate.

"Masakit sa loob ko talaga, ang anak ko nagtatrabaho lang doon para sa pamilya, wala siyang ginagawang illegal," she said.

According to the OFW's brother, he does not know why his elder brother was accused of spying.

"Wala naman kaming alam na may hina-handle siyang sensitive na documents...Ang allegation nila, nagbibigay ang brother ko ng documents doon sa isa pang kinasuhan ng life sentence, yung halimbawa tungkol sa sasakyan ng military, sa mga projects ng Qatar," he said.

He also noted his brother was mistakenly accused of having connections with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) because of his NBI clearance.

Meanwhile, the family of the other Filipino sentenced to life imprisonment are also shocked over the allegations levied against their father.

Their father, who worked as an aircraft mechanic in Qatar, was also arrested in 2010.

"Bigla po silang pumasok. Dinala sa kwarto si Daddy... Sad siya noon, namumula mukha nya... Sabi sa amin, we will question your father... Sabi ibabalik after two days, pero mula noon di na namin siya nakita," one of his children recalled.

After he was imprisoned, his family decided to leave Qatar and head back to the Philippines.

They are now appealing to the Philippine government for help.

Meanwhile, the family of another Filipino employee at Qatar Petroleum, who was sentenced to death, declined to give a statement.


The 3 Filipinos are pastors at a born-again church in Qatar.

According to 3 pastors of the church's affiliate in the Philippines, they were also arrested with the 3 Filipinos in Qatar in 2010.

They were held in solitary confinement for 3 months before they were freed.

The pastors said there was a change in administration at Qatar Petroleum, and an investigation was being done. Since the Filipinos were close to the head of the company, who was about to be removed, they were also investigated.

Unfortunately, when they visited the Filipino pastor at his home, they were also arrested by the police.

"It's not only administrative, it's also religious... Kailangan i-elevate nila mula sa administrative to national level for one reason, una kase nga yung administrative level sabit ang kanyang
amo... We are in a prayer time that time, susuko na sana siya sa embassy," one of the pastors said.

According to the pastors, other members of the born-again church also experienced torture during interrorgation.

One of the pastors even broke his hand because he was handcuffed during 10 days of torture.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) denied the Philippines was involved in any form of espionage.

The DFA is also working to help save the Filipino on death row. They have given him legal assistance and are working to reopen his case.

Malacanang is now waiting for the investigation of the Department of National Defense into the case of the 3 OFWs.