DUBAI: Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates are again reminded to abide by UAE laws and in particular advised to refrain from intoxication.
Through WhatsApp, Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said: “The Consulate does not intercede when local laws are violated, particularly those related to intoxication and even immorality.
“Under the UAE law, such offences are punishable by jail term and deportation. Unless merited, the Consulate cannot and will not interfere with UAE laws, procedures and policies,” he added.
Cortes also said: “Ignorance is not an excuse for non-compliance.”
The Manila government official was interviewed on Sept.18, following the bilingual (English and Filipino) release and posting of the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB) public advisory on getting intoxicated in public places. “The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates reminds all Filipinos to avoid public drunkenness including driving under the influence of alcohol. Persons who will be caught by or reported to the police may face detention time and fine.”
The diplomatic mission, inaugurated in 2004, has been consistently reminding its constituents in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah about behaviour and decorum.
However, violations of UAE laws that include intoxication and driving under the influence of liquor have been among the cases attended to by the PCGDXB Assistance to Nationals Section since.
Several years back, a young drunk Filipino went out of his house in Sharjah in the middle of the night. He served a jail term and was later on deported.
Cortes said: “We have been the recipient of requests from families in the Philippines to help or assist their relatives here who have been detained, sentenced or incarcerated for liquor-related offences with the belief that the Consulate can assist in such cases.
“In light of numerous reports that some have been detained due to alcohol or immorality, the Consulate will be issuing press releases reminding Filipinos to abide by UAE laws,” he added.
Meanwhile, in the Illustrado Magazine article “Drinking Alcohol in the UAE: Why Intoxication is a Serious Crime,” published nine months back, Atty. Barney Almazar wrote: “Alcohol intoxication is a serious offence in Muslim jurisdictions because drinking is considered a crime against the rights of God.” The Filipino lawyer also wrote that non-Muslims can only drink even within the confines of their residences if they have valid liquor licences, should be 21 years of age, a UAE resident and earning a minimum of Dhs3,000 a month.
Prior to deportation, violators shall serve between one and six months of imprisonment and pay Dhs2,000 fine.