MANILA (June 30) — Filipina overseas worker in Kuwait May Vecina arrived this morning in Manila less than a month after the Emir of Kuwait granted her an Amiri pardon.
Vecina arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 8:45 a.m. via Qatar Airways. She was accompanied by Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Ricardo Endaya and welcomed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Carmelita Dimzon.
In her brief remarks to the media, Vecina thanked President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her intervention that led to the reduction of her death sentence to life imprisonment and later, to full pardon.
She also expressed her gratitude to Vice President Noli De Castro, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque and Ambassador Endaya for their combined efforts to save her from death row.
Vecina was convicted of murder and two counts of frustrated murder and was sentenced to hang for stabbing to death her employer’s seven-year old son. She also wounded her employer’s 13-year old son and 17-year old daughter.
From the airport, Vecina was brought to the DFA where she was warmly received by Vice President De Castro, Secretary Alberto G. Romulo and Secretary Roque.
Secretary Romulo stressed that the success in obtaining pardon for Vecina was a result of the joint effort of all concerned government agencies, led by President Arroyo and Vice President De Castro.
“I am glad that May Vecina is here with us now. I am glad that she will finally see her children whom she left nine-and-a-half years ago. This is a team effort, starting with the President who went to Kuwait to ask the Emir to grant May pardon. I am glad that this ordeal is now over,” he said.
The DFA Secretary added that the Philippine Government will continue to work on the remaining death penalty cases involving Filipino workers not only in Kuwait but in other countries as well.
“We don’t spare any effort to help our Filipinos abroad which is why the DFA does whatever it can to assist them, with the help of the Department of Labor and the Office of the Vice President. We go the full gamut,” he said.
According to Secretary Roque, Vecina’s children will receive scholarship grants from the government. Vecina will also receive a loan of up to P50,000 to start a business in the Philippines.
Vecina will fly this afternoon to Davao to reunite with her family