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Father asks Arroyo to bring home OFW on Kuwait death row

MANILA, Philippines -- The father of domestic helper Marilou Ranario, who is on death row in Kuwait, pleaded Wednesday with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to do everything possible to save his daughter from execution with the final verdict on her appeal set for next week.

“I am calling on the government. I am appealing to the President, as a parent, to do everything to bring back Marilou by Christmas,” Rosario Ranario, 64, a farmer from Surigao del Sur, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) in Filipino.

Rosario said he had come all the way from Surigao del Sur to find out for himself the status of his 35-year-old daughter’s appeal to the Kuwaiti court that sentenced her to hang for killing her employer.

He recalled that when he went to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on November 13 to inquire, he was informed that the handing down of the final verdict had been moved up from December 27 to November 27.

“The DFA did not give me exact details on Marilou‘s case. The personnel there did not even explain why the scheduled final verdict was moved,” Rosario said, pointing out that as Marilou’s father he should be updated on his daughter’s plight.

He also made the plea to save his daughter’s life to Vice President Noli de Castro, DFA secretary Alberto Romulo, and Ambassador Ricardo Endaya.

Marilou is the fourth child in a brood of 10 and received her education degree at the Northeastern Mindanao Colleges (NEMCO). But she immediately went abroad after graduating, driven by the need to alleviate her family’s poverty.

She and older sister Weng are the only members of the family who finished college.

Marilou left for Kuwait on December 10, 2003 and was found guilty of stabbing to death her employer Najat Mahmoud Faraj Mubarak, on January 11, 2005 in Salwa province. She claimed to have killed her employer for fear Mubarak had been planning to hurt her, a result allegedly of months of unfair labor practices, maltreatment and abuse.

It was reportedly only during the last week of December in 2005 that the Ranario family learned of their kin’s fate and it was 10 months later that they were informed by the DFA that Marilou had been sentenced to death.

Rosario said that their entire family worried about her and Marilou’s children, 13-year-old Raffy John and 11-year-old Roselle, are hoping they would still see their mother alive.

“They [Marilou’s children] told me before I left Surigao to try to save their mama and I promised them I would,” the 64-year-old farmer told the Inquirer, adding, “They are hoping their mother would be home by Christmas.”



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