His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, has ordered the release of 879 prisoners including 15 Filipinos during the holy month of Ramadan.
The 15 Filipinos all came from different jails in Abu Dhabi; an embassy official said in a statement.
“I wish to thank the UAE government for releasing the 15 Filipinos from Abu Dhabi jails,” Philippine Ambassador to UAE Grace Princesa Relucio said.
“We have spoken to some of those who were released during our regular weekly jail visits, and all they wished then was to be able to be with their loved ones again in the Philippines,” the official added. “I am sure they are very grateful for having been given a new opportunity to start again.”
Sheik Khalifa ordered the release of the prisoners last month as part of the government’s “keenness to give pardoned inmates an opportunity to start a new life and bring about stability to their families.”
Many of the inmates freed were jailed because of unpaid debts; which the UAE leader promised to shoulder all the liabilities in exchange for their freedom.
”With this supreme order, the President gives the released inmates a true opportunity to re-integrate as good members into the community, engage in and contribute positively to the process of building the nation’s future. The pardon embodies a humanitarian touch which will give the released inmates the opportunity to reunite with their families in the Holy Month of Ramadan,” the UAE governments said earlier in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi reminds all Filipino citizens to respect the laws, culture and traditions of the emirates to avoid getting into trouble.
Recently, it has supported the publication of the guidebook “Essential OFW Guide to the UAE” written by Barney Almazar to enlighten OFWs about how one should behave while in the emirates.