The Philippines is ready to provide legal assistance if ever the woman arrested in Saudi Arabia over alleged involvement in a terrorist plot turned out to be a Filipina as reported, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.
“Like in any case involving a Filipino, we want to make sure that he or she is given due process, fair trial, access to appeals process and make sure that their rights are not violated,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose told a press briefing. “We will provide legal assistance if legal counsel is needed.”
As of posting time, Philippine officials in Saudi Arabia are seeking access to the reported Filipina, identified in media reports as Lady Gioi Aban Bali Nang, who was arrested in the Kingdom together with a Syrian national.
The reported Filipina was seized along with a Syrian man at a house in Riyadh by Saudi authorities conducting a raid on illegal explosives. She was wearing a suicide vest when she was arrested.
“Our embassy would like to get confirmation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they will be requesting consular access,” Jose said. “They would like to see the reported Filipina and talk to her and verify her identity and nationality.”
A report by the Khaleej Times said the Filipino woman, who went missing from her employer for more than one year, was the Syrian man’s captive.
Saudi Arabia, home to close to a million Filipino workers, is a major destination of Filipinos in the Middle East. They are mostly employed in medical and health, construction and household service sectors. —Michaela del Callar/KBK, GMA News