The repatriates previously worked and resided in Latakia, Tartous, Aleppo, and Damascus before deciding to avail of the MRP and sought shelter at the Philippine embassy in Damascus’ halfway quarters.
The International Organization for Migration shouldered the repatriates’ airfare.
The new group brings the total number of Filipinos repatriated from Syria since the unrest started in 2011
to 5,668. Of this figure, 2,696 were repatriated through Lebanon, with the cooperation of the Philippine embassy in Beirut.
Meanwhile, Alert Level 4 still in place in Syria. The embassy continues to encourage the next-of-kin of OFWs still in Syria to get in touch with the embassy at the following contact details:
Mobile : 00963-11-613-2626;
00963-84-815-5557; 00963-93-495-7926; Relatives of Filipinos still in Syria are also encouraged to provide information of their family’s whereabouts or last known contact details in Syria so that immediate assistance can be extended to them. The embassy can also be reached through its Facebook page, The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Damascus. (abs-cbn)
DOJ dismisses ‘tanim-bala’ case vs OFW
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of the complaint against Gloria Ortinez, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) allegedly victimized by the “tanim-bala” scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Susan “Toots” Ople, head of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, announced the decision on Facebook.
A resolution signed by Pasay City Prosecutor Nolasco M. Fernandez jr., dismissed the charges filed against Ortinez for lack of probable cause.
The resolution also said that there was no indication, based on the statements of the complainants, that Ortinez had any intention to possess the ammunition.
“While the case is known as malum prohibitum, intent to possess must be proven clearly and convincingly.” Likewise, it believes Ortinez had no intent to use the bullet for malevolent purposes.
“The respondent is an OFW. There is no logical reason why she would possess the ammunition,” it said.
“Finally, it is noteworthy that the bullet is a harmless article without the corresponding gun or firearm to fire it,” it added.
Ortinez, an OFW bound for Hong Kong, was arrested after a bullet was allegedly found inside her hand-carry bag on October 25. She was released after the prosecutor said the bullet submitted as evidence was different from the one on the photograph sworn to by the police investigators and personnel of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS).
Ortinez was also invited by the Senate to attend the first hearing on the alleged extortion scheme on Thursday morning. Ople earlier urged the DOJ to drop the charges against Ortinez, who is in danger of losing her job in Hong Kong. (abs-cbn)