By Michelle Fe Santiago, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau
Posted at 06/02/2015 1:18 PM
DOHA, Qatar – The Philippine embassy in Qatar will appeal the verdict of the three Filipinos who were convicted for espionage and economic sabotage after the Qatar Court of Appeals commuted on Sunday the death sentence to life imprisonment of one of the accused and reduced the life sentence of the others to 15 years.
“We welcome this development. The next step with us is to consult the lawyer as well as the families regarding legal options and we will do that in the next coming days ahead,” said Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Wilfredo Santos.
Santos disclosed that the embassy will appeal the latest verdict on the three Filipinos before the Court of Cassation, Qatar’s highest court
“Yes, it is possible to undertake the necessary next steps on this case. As I have said, we will exhaust all legal remedies including filing an appeal to higher court. It is something that we will consult with the lawyer and of course with the family whose consent is needed,” he stressed.
The three men who have been in jail since 2010 were convicted by a lower court in April 2014 of espionage for passing along military and economic secrets to the Philippines, which the Philippine government categorically denied.
One of the accused who was initially sentenced to death, worked as a budgeting and contracting supervisor at the Qatar Petroleum. The two other Filipinos meted the life sentence worked as technicians at the Qatar Air Force.
The embassy vowed to closely monitor the case of the three Filipinos and extend all the needed legal assistance to them
“I would like to assure our Filipino nationals here in Qatar that the Philippine embassy will continue to assist them whether you are in distress or not,” said Santos.