Manila asked to spare OFWs from extrajudicial killings

Philippine police inspect the bodies of two unidentified men after being killed in a police drug "buy-bust" operation before dawn on Sept. 23, 2016 in Pasig city, east of Manila. More than 3,000 suspected drug dealers and users have been killed since July in the Philippines’ drug war. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Updated 25 September 2016
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Manila asked to spare OFWs from extrajudicial killings

RIYADH: Filipinos in the Kingdom have called on the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to spare Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from extrajudicial killing in connection with its drug campaign.
They were reacting to a report aired by TV Patrol on ABS-CBN on Sept. 23, regarding the killing of 27-year-old Mark Culata, an OFW who was working in the Kingdom and was just taking his vacation.
Culata was arrested by operatives of government at a checkpoint in Cavite Province, south of Manila, but was found dead later on.
“Being an OFW, Culata could not be ‘a pusher.’ He had just come from the Kingdom which is very strict when it comes to illegal drugs,” said Arnold G. Pineda, a Filipino community worker in Buraidah.
He said: “Culata’s death was a total disregard of OFWs’ contributions to our country, particularly its economy.”
Eduardo R. Rodriguez, spare parts manager of Arab Equipment Est. in Dammam, said that government operatives in Philippines should exercise restraint in identifying drug suspects.
“They should have conducted a thorough investigation before arresting Culata,” he said.
What’s worse, he added, Culata was found lifeless after his arrest.
In Riyadh, John Leonard Monterona, a human rights advocate, also called on the Philippine government to spare vacationing OFWs from what it called a “senseless and inhuman extrajudicial killing in the name of the government’s war on illegal drugs.”
“We were shocked and alarmed upon hearing the report about the alleged torture and killing of Culata,” he said.


Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience. (SPA)
Updated 20 January 2019
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Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

  • Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 3,024,272, of which 2,561,541 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.
There are 399,479 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 277,372 in Makkah and 122,107 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 2,288,789 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 257,266 entered by land and 15,486 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (681,392) followed by Indonesia (447,450), India (306,470), Yemen (146,067), Malaysia (142,290), Algeria (92,752), Turkey (86,925), Egypt (85,438), Bangladesh (53,131) and the UAE (62,927).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 9,983 Saudis including 8,259 males and 1,724 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.