4 Filipino expats jailed over unpaid debts in Saudi flown home after getting pardon

Senior official urges Filipinos to be mindful of their loans and other financial liabilities while working abroad


Kirstin Bernabe

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File photo used for illustrative purposes
File photo used for illustrative purposes

Published: Wed 19 Jul 2023, 2:08 PM

Four Filipino expats, who had been jailed for three to five years in Saudi Arabia, were flown back home after being granted pardon, the Philippines' migrant workers' department said on Wednesday.

The expats had been detained in a deportation facility over debts they had incurred, according to a local media report. They previously worked as technicians, driver, and merchandiser in the Kingdom.

Hans Cacdac, undersecretary of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), thanked the Saudi government for giving the expats a chance to start afresh.

"It is unfortunate that they had been jailed for that long over debts. That's why we're thankful to the Saudi government, which saw that it's time they got released," Cacdac was quoted as saying in a local media report.

The DMW vowed to provide assistance to the children of the expats. The office had also extended financial and reintegration assistance to help them get back on their feet.

Cacdac urged Filipino expats around the world to keep their debts in check.

“One message we can make… is for (overseas Filipino workers) to be very mindful of the debts they incur — especially because punishments for unpaid debts could be very strict and harsh in the laws of their host countries," he said.


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