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.


King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

Millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi national day on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 23 September 2018
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King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

  • More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Day, celebrated every year on Sept. 23, has come a long way in broadening the concept of unification over the years.
Though the National Day meant unifying disparate sheikhdoms under the nation’s founder, the late King Abdul Aziz, its implications across the political, socioeconomic and cultural spectrum have not been lost on successive rulers.
It was King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fine-tuned the definition of unification as an operating philosophy. This is why millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi National Day on the streets on Sunday.
The capital city, along with other Saudi cities, will witness fireworks and the unfurling of the largest national flag. More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom.
Car owners, limousine drivers and young Saudi motorcyclists said that they planned to go for drives, particularly on the fashionable streets of the capital city, to celebrate. Grocery shops, stationery shops and vendors were selling bunting, flags, banners and pictures of national heroes.
“We went around the city to see the lighting and fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a local pharmacist. “Green and white balloons fill either sides of Riyadh streets,” he said.
In his National Day congratulatory message, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said: “The wise policy of the leaders of this country contributed to peace, security and stability.”
Fakhr Al-Shawaf, chief executive of Al-Bawani Contracting Co., said: “We are celebrating the 88th anniversary of our unification, a day when the late King Abdul Aziz established the Saudi nation.”
Ali Al-Othaim, a member of Riyadh Chamber’s board of directors, said: “The Kingdom is on the path of comprehensive economic and social development under Vision 2030.”
Shafik Namdar, a taxi driver, said that he had bought an SR10 flag for his car and planned to work and also drive with his friends to look at the city and its landmark buildings.
Several young boys, including Arslan, 12, and Mishal, 14, said that they had bought bunting, badges and flags to decorate their houses. They planned to celebrate with a special meal at home with relatives, before going into the city streets for dance and music. Some of them had plans to organize celebrations in public parks.