PH Embassy in Riyadh deplores mauling incidents outside POLO office

Published February 15, 2021, 7:30 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh has deplored reports of recent mauling incidents involving Filipino nationals near the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the Saudi Arabian capital.

Amb. Adnan Alonto

“We will not allow the mob mentality of some to hamper the delivery of services to our OFWs (overseas Filipinos workers),” Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto said in a tweet following the mauling incidents that took place on February 9 and 11, 2021.

In a separate statement, the Philippine Embassy regrets that the incidents have “cast Filipinos in a bad light and exposed those involved to criminal prosecution by Saudi authorities.” 

The Embassy, however, did not provide the identities of those involved in the fracas.

“In light of this, we call on all those concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety. We also ask the members of the Filipino community to respect the rule of law at all times,” the Embassy said.

The Philippine Embassy also assured the Filipino community that the safety and security of personnel and clients of the Embassy and its attached agencies will remain a priority. 

At the moment, the Embassy is coordinating with Saudi police authorities to prevent the occurrence of other unlawful incidents within the vicinity of POLO-Riyadh.

The Embassy, it added, “stands ready to extend appropriate assistance to those involved in the mauling incidents.”

Two weeks ago, the four tires of a vehicle owned by an OFW was vandalized by still unidentified “thugs” reportedly operating around the POLO area.

Sources at the Department of Foreign Affairs said they are looking at the possibility that the series of violent incidents may still be connected with the recent dismissal of a top labor officer and the filing of libel charges against an OFW couple.