By Christina Hermoso
Balanga Bataan Bishop Ruperto C. Santos expressed his gratitude to the king of Bahrain for granting royal pardon and releasing 16 convicted overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Santos, who is serving as chairman of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) Asia-Oceania Working Group and vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, thanked His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa “for his spirit of compassion and goodwill gesture” on granting the royal decree.
“This is a perfect example of the spirit of compassion and mutual relationship between countries. We can really choose to be considerate, to be caring, and to be compassionate to those who are working here in the country and to those who are working abroad,” Santos said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
“What happened can serve as an inspiration as it provides hope to the families of OFWs who are facing legal problems in their host countries,” the bishop added.
According to records, there are more than 60,000 Filipino workers in Bahrain consisting of professionals, skilled workers, and household service workers.
President Duterte had earlier expressed his gratitude to His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa for granting royal pardon to 154 inmates that include the 16 convicted Filipino workers.
“I am calling on our OFWs who received this special pardon to see the opportunity as a challenge, as a second chance at correcting their mistakes. Make an effort to improve your relations with others, with the people you work with. Work harder and do not anymore waste the opportunity given to you,” Santos said.
The Church leader assured OFWs facing legal problems of the continued support of the ICMC and the CBCP-ECMI while observing and being mindful of the laws in their host countries.