Thursday, January 26, 2017

Brother says Jakatia, not gov't, informed them of impending execution

The family of OFW Jakatia Pawa on Wednesday expressed dismay that they learned about her impending execution in Kuwait from her and not from the government, a report by GMA News' Jam Sisante on "24 Oras" said.
"Kung halimbawa ma-execute and kapatid ko, dapat 2, 3, 4 days dapat naimpormahan kami. Ang masakit lang sa aming pamilya, kapatid ko na ang tumawag na bibitayin na siya ngayong araw na ito," said Lt. Col. Angaris Pawa, Jakatia's brother.
Jakatia was executed on Wednesday afternoon (PHL time), seven years after she was sentenced to death for killing her employer's 22-year-old daughter in 2007.
In the report, Col. Pawa recalled his last conversation with his sister, who at that time was already at the execution room.
"Sabi niya '8 a.m. dito sa Kuwait, ako'y bibitayin na.' So napaiyak na lang ako. Nabigla ako nung pagtawag niya so huling pag-usap namin 10 minutes to 1 p.m. dito sa atin bibitayin siya, 8 a.m. doon sa Kuwait," he said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), meanwhile, admitted that it was Jakatia who first informed her family of her impending execution. 
"OFW Pawa was given cellphone by the prison authorities so she was able to call her family. That happened simultaneously when the embassy was informed," DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said at a press briefing.
Jose insisted that the Philippine government did its best to save Jakatia's life, only that the victim's family had refused to give a tanazul or letter of forgiveness that would've removed Jakatia from death row.
"That was the key. With the tanazul, maybe the death sentence would have been commuted to life imprisonment or term imprisonment," Jose said.
Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate labor committee, chided the DFA over the incident during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
"Give us an assurance that a working policy is in place. It's kind of absurd to hear that the family of Ms. Pawa just learned about it," Villanueva said.
MalacaƱang also expressed its sincere condolences to Jakatia's family.
OFW advocate Susan Ople, for her part, said, "There appears to be room for improvement on how the DFA and DoLE (Department of Labor and Employment) can coordinate better to make sure that an OFW on death row and his or her family are equally cared for especially when an execution may be imminent.” —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News

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