24 January 2006 :President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered Philippine diplomats to do everything they could to save a Filipina teacher who was set to hang in Kuwait for killing her boss there.
“The President has instructed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to look into the plight of Marilou Ranario, and to exhaust all diplomatic and legal means to save her life,” Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said.
Ranario, 33 and a native of Tubod, Surigao del Sur, had been sentenced by a Kuwaiti court to die by hanging for stabbing her employer to death. Circumstances leading to the stabbing were not made public.
Working as a maid in Kuwait, her predicament was made public only after her father complained to the press that Filipino diplomats had failed to help his daughter.
At the DFA, officials said the Philippine embassy in Kuwait had hired two Kuwaiti lawyers to appeal the verdict handed down on September 28, 2005.
DFA spokesman Gilbert Asuque said they were still making representations with the local Kuwait embassy to reconsider the request of the elder Ranario to visit his daughter in jail. Ranario’s father had been denied a Kuwait visa.
Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Pedro Chan said the government could either appeal the sentence or ask the victim to come up with the “blood money” so that Ranario would not be hanged. Ranario was reportedly the first Filipina to be sentenced to die in the Middle East.