ZAMBOANGA CITY: Philippine leaders paid homage to Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who died at the age of 90 after battling pneumonia.
Leaders from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao gathered at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Manila on Monday and offered prayers alongside embassy officials as they pay their last respect to the Arab King.
Malacañang earlier extended condolences to the Saudi Royal family citing the legacy left behind by King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, especially in mercy and compassion for Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia.
President Aquino had previously praised the King for granting clemency to Filipino workers under trial and for extending financial assistance to save Rodelio Lanuza from the death row.
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had often given opportunity to Filipino workers facing immigration problems and for standardizing employment contracts in Saudi Arabia.
The alliance of Recruitment Agencies of the Philippines (ARAP-OFW Foundation, Inc.) together with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front expressed optimism that the legacy of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will continue with the assumption of his 79-year-old half-brother as the new Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
In a letter sent to Saudi Arabia, the ARAP-OFW Foundation, Inc. headed by its president, Raisonel Datu Magangcong, said they are hopeful that the new King will further strengthen the same mercy and compassion the deceased King had towards Filipino workers.
“The Alliance of Recruitment Agencies of the Philippines and the Bangsamoro people share in your loss of the illustrious monarch and revered leader. Our thoughts go out to the Saudi Royal Family and the people of Saudi Arabia.”
“The late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Saud, is most especially remembered for valuing the contributions of Filipino migrant workers in the national development of the Kingdom. The recruitment industry in our country is hopeful that Your Highness ascent to the throne will further strengthen and deepen the benevolence, mercy and compassion towards Filipino workers in the Kingdom, most especially those who landed in jails and death row,” Magangcong said in the letter.
Magangcong and his group earlier pledged to help Filipinos who are languishing in jails abroad by funding training for diplomats, lawyers and social workers from the ranks of Bangsamoro professionals.
The fund being offered by ARAP-OFW Foundation, Inc. would also help support and establish legal and humanitarian assistance for overseas Filipino workers in jails. More than 250 Filipino workers are currently in death rows and over 7,000 in jails awaiting sentencing.
The ARAP-OFW Foundation earlier urged the government to allocate more funds to afford the hiring of additional embassy and consulate personnel in the Middle East. The foundation, which represents hundreds of recruitment agencies deploying Filipino workers in the Middle East, said it would enter into contract with Bangsamoro leaders for the recruitment and training of Muslim diplomats, lawyers and social workers for immediate deployment abroad.