Family of Condemmed Filipina (Marilou Ronario) seeks help

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Nov 7 2007

Kuwait times - Wednesday November 7, 2007

The family of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) sentenced to death by a Kuwaiti Court is calling on President Macapagal Arroyo for more help. Rosario Ranario, father of Marilou Ranario said more government help was needed not that the Kuwaiti Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on November 13 on her appeal of her death sentence. Marilou, 33 was convicted in 2005 of killing one of her employers. She has spent the last two years in jail despite a supposed promise from Vice President Noli de Castro that he would pay blood money to the relatives of the victims so she could be released.

The Kuwaiti supreme court is expected to hand down its final verdict on the appeal by next week. If the conviction is upheld, Marilou would be hanged. Ranario said Marilou could still get out alive if the Philippine government exerted more effort to obtain her release.

Ranario said his family believed Marilou is innocent of the charges by the Kuwaiti court found her guilty of the crime. He said that when he visited Marilou in a Kuwait jail last year, she appeared to be not her usual self. She seemed aloof and out of her mind." He said, instead of hugging him, she just smiled and seemed so "distant" Ranario said. He said what baffled him was that Marilou kept on repeating that one of her employers was powerful.

“She told me that one of her employers got whatever she wanted her to do." Ronario said. He said he believed his daughter was threatened in to admitting the killing." I surmise only two things from her unusual behavior, either she was threatened into admitting the crime or she was really out of her mind" He said his daughter’s conviction could also be the result of her lack of access to lawyers during the early stages of the case.

Ranario said his family's only wish now was for Marilou to come home to the Philippines and be with her children again.

Migrante International said Marilou is among at least 35 OFW's on death row in various countries. The Reverend Marisol Villalon, spokesperson for the SAVE MARILOU RANARIO MOVEMENT (SMRM), said in a statement that most of these OFW's, 2 in China, 4 in the US, 9 in Saudi Arabia and 10 in Malaysia - have been isolated from their families and in many cases, receive meager legal assistance and intervention from the Philippine government

The above is an excerpt from the Kuwait Times

The SAVE MARILOU RANARIO MOVEMENT (SMRM) has prepared a petition to the Kuwaiti Government appealing to save her life. If you wish to sign the petition please go to http://www.petitiononline.com/marilou/petition.html.

Save her life

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East