Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The brother of Marilou Renario, Allan, was overcame with tears at today's rally, hence unable to address the crowd of rallyists nor answer any question from the media. The rally, organized by Migrante International, was a call of support to save the life of Marilou, as well as a demand for the administration to expeditiously facilitate her pardon and release.

The death sentence by hanging on Marilou was upheld by the Kuwait supreme court yesterday, and it may be carried out within three months from the day of conviction unless the Emir grants a pardon.

Marilou is a 35-year-old former schoolteacher but was working as a maid in Kuwait when she was charged with murder for having killed her Kuwaiti employer on January 11, 2005.

Vice President Noli De Castro, meanwhile, was directed yesterday by President Arroyo to fly to Kuwait to hand her personal letter to the Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. De Castro is expected to leave for Kuwait next week to deliver the president's appeal for clemency to spare Ranario from death.


posted by Señor Enrique at 4:45 PM


Anonymous bw said...

I'm not familiar with the details of this case but knowing the eye for an eye policy in Islamic states when it comes to murder convictions, celemency from the head of state doesn't come easy.

Again one wonders the motivation of an expat maid to kill her master in a country where people have no rights, no freedom to even defend themselves in the court of law?

November 28, 2007 8:47 PM  

Blogger pusa said...

i just hope that it wont be another Flor Contemplacion.

very nice photos senor, so you've been out today

November 28, 2007 8:54 PM  

Blogger Aura said...

Another sad story of a migrant worker in an arab country..
Stories about abusive employers has been going on even before i came to UAE 23 yrs ago.Not only women are abused, even men too!

Our goverment should do something about the predicaments of domestic helpers to those countries, if not able to do so, they must at least reprimand agencies that does not investigate the background of future employers.

I even knew one ex teacher once during a flight back to manila,she went home peniless ( hinde sya binayaran,ang naging employer nya ay bedoin who leaves at the desert at me alaga lang na camels and goats).The pinoys from that flight were all so nice that they even collected money for her to have something to take home,baon pa sya sa utang!

November 28, 2007 9:27 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Are there any reasons to why Marilou murdered her Kuwaiti employer? Was she abused?

Let's hope Mrs. Arroyo's letter will help so spare Marilou from the death sentence.

November 28, 2007 9:41 PM  

Anonymous bingskee said...

to spare her from death, but not to let her go unpunished if it is murder. the people and the authorities in Kuwait, and other countries, too, follow certain rules, or laws, and we have to understand that.

i don't exactly know the story, how Marilou resulted to murdering her employer. was she really the one who killed him? i say yes to the appeal for the death sentence by hanging but no to letting her go unpunished for the crime she had committed. i hope this will be taken against me by saying this. but going beyond this situation, this can mean banning workers/employees from Kuwait, or sever whatever relationship we have with Kuwait, or limit job opportunities for OFWs.

i hope this will be settled like how Sarah Balabagan was given pardon and punished by whips. though Sarah's case is more a picture of self-defense.

November 28, 2007 10:00 PM  

Anonymous reyna elena said...

Senor Enrique,

thank you for posting these pictures. hope you won't mind me reposting the same pictures on my site. this is just terrible.

another OFW was crushed in London, meanwhile this is all happening and the forecast for the dollar is going to be Php38 next year.

November 29, 2007 6:50 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Sorry to hear that another OFW was crushed in London, Reyna Elena. Where can we read the details?

Sure you may repost some of my pics from this rally.

November 29, 2007 9:21 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Neither do I know the details of her conviction, Bing, but from what I heard, most of the relatives of the victim had accepted blood money and hence pardoned Marilou. It is now just up to the Emir.

November 29, 2007 9:23 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I think there were incidences of abuse, Kyels. Yes, let's keep our fingers crossed.

November 29, 2007 9:24 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You're right, Aura -- men are abused, too, over there.

I was once in a cab in which the driver claimed he worked in Saudi Arabia, though briefly. He returned home as soon as he could before he killed anyone. He said that Arab men had tried to rape him, mainly because like most Pinoys, he is unable to grow a beard. For most Arabs, he claimed, a clean-shaven male is just as sexually exciting as a female.

And yes, some OFWs I met claimed of abusive employers; not only in the Middle East but in Hong Kong especially.

Sad, indeed.

November 29, 2007 9:31 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Pusa.

There are many stories, sad stories, emanating from many of our OFWs.

November 29, 2007 9:32 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Temporary insanity due to constant abuse or self-defense are two reasons I could think of, BW. Unfortunately, like you, I'm not that knowledgeable about the full details of Marilou's case.

November 29, 2007 9:34 AM  

Anonymous reyna elena said...

That's the link for the OFW in London that was crushed to death.

November 29, 2007 10:57 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Such tragedy :(

Thank you for the link.

November 29, 2007 11:16 AM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

I'm almost sure that Marilou was abused by her employer. Most Filipina women who work as maids abroad are bread-winners, and they're willing to bear almost anything just to send money home. Baka nasa sukdulan na talaga ang pang-aabuso kaya di na nakapagpigil si Marilou.

Let's pray that the Emir would favor the gov't appeal. A prison term or lashings would be much better than death by hanging.

Thanks for sharing the photos, S.E.

November 29, 2007 1:25 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Migrante International claims that Marilou didn't receive adept legal counsel from the very beginning, Luna.

And that the court handed down its judgment without knowing that Marilou was a victim of constant physical abuse from her employer. There were also many inconsistencies in which this case was handled by the Kuwait judicial system, including the judge who heard the appeal of Marilou was the same judge of the Court of the First Instance that handed down her capital punishment. Hence it would be impossible for a judge to overturn his own original decision.

So I guess we can only pray for Marilou to receive some sort of assistance from Malacanang.

November 29, 2007 2:52 PM  

Anonymous bernadette said...

It really is depressing how our countrymen goes through the "kapit sa patalim" with employment situations overseas. My father was incarcerated too when he was in Saudi as a project manager (at that!) simply because the Saudi didn't know who was who. So, my father (bleeding on the arm) was in the same prison with his attacker. The happy ending was that he was released and even sent us the shirt na dugu-duguan with a note that Saudi can be more dangerous than Vietnam ( he was there as a soldier in the '60s.) I also know that an official notice from the Saudi embassy to Filipinos is not to go there for employment because of so many reports of abuses. I also rode PAL once from Hongkong filled with DHs for their holidays, ...oh so many stories! I often pray for all our OFWs...and now for Marilou.

November 29, 2007 4:08 PM  

Blogger migrante ksa said...

Thanks for the photos and the updates, Senior. Can we use the photos on our blog?

A.M. Ociones
Migrante KSA

November 29, 2007 4:17 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

To date, Bernadette, I remain grateful that I had spent a life as an expat in a more hospitable and liberal city of New York. And most important, that I speak the language.

I can only imagine how shocking it can be for some of our OFWs to be suddenly exposed to a foreign culture with strange laws and unfamiliar language.

What I find truly unfortunate is despite the warning of the Saudi Embassy, many more of our fellow Pinoys would risk their well being just for a chance to land better paying job opportunities over there.

I'm glad that your father survived such a harrowing experience in a Saudi jail. And yes, not only for Marilou but for the thousands of our OFWs striving over there in foreign lands for the benefit of loved ones back home.

November 29, 2007 4:29 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

To A.M. Ociones

Sure you may use my photos to post in your blogsite.

November 29, 2007 5:13 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

My "Luha ni Inday" tattoo is a tribute to all Pinay OFW's.

November 30, 2007 1:41 AM  

Blogger Aura said...

Another story i would like to share about OFW´s in UAE
A colleague of mine was trying to get his driving license for almost a year,he keep on failing the garage exam,( reverse parking between 4 poles) he must not touch any of the poles going in and out of that so called garage.
Driving exams starts with paralel parking,garrage,hill,and the road exam,scheduled every month.I got my license in six months time,failing 3 times.C was an experience driver in Mla.I dont know why it took him so long to get his license.
After several failure on that exam alone,he was so frustrated when he failed again that he crumpled his exam paper and thrown it on the ground.The policeman who was giving him the exam put him in jail.Reason? Disrespect to the Sheik who´s photo was in the exam paper!
Its a good thing the company where we work has an arab legal officer to take care of this type of problems.
When C got out from jail,C´s black hair turned grey during that overnight ordeal. He did´nt talk much about his experience,he only said, "Scary out there" telling us that he saw men being raped.

My advise to our kababayan, dont go out there unless you have a good contract!!

November 30, 2007 1:45 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank God he wasn't at all sexually molested in the short time of his incarceration, Aura.

It is truly a strange world and I don't intend to pass judgment on its people. However, in my sociology class in college, we did touch upon its culture. Astonishingly, especially for those coming from the West, sodomy is a common practice in this nomad society, though not much talked about nor equated with homosexuality -- they would leave their wives behind during those extended times they go on caravan trips to do their trade, but would bring along young boys to appease the men's sexual needs.

By the way, Lawrence of Arabia was also raped by that desert sheik (played by Omar Shariff in the movie "Lawrence of Arabia).

Strange worls it is yet many of our fellow Pinoys and Pinays would risk their well being for a chance to provide better lives for their loved ones. God bless them all.

November 30, 2007 4:38 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

So that's who Inday represents, Pete. Thank you for sharing.

November 30, 2007 4:40 AM  

Blogger LORD MANILA STONE said...

there are thousands of filipina women working in kuwait and this is just one issue that could well represent how our filipina women fare in the middle east, i hope the government be firm in its plan to help our workers especially in their fight for justice, working away from home is difficult and it could be the most painful if it meant not seeing your relatives again in your motherland, i hope it's not too late for God to shed the lights to those prosecutors in the ME to see the real score behind this and give the freedom Ms. Renario rightfully deserves...

December 03, 2007 10:25 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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