Migrante celebrates freedom and home-coming of Pinay death convict after 10-year detention in Kuwait



Tatay Rosario Ranario, Marilou's father, at a DFA picket in 2007  (Photo from inquirer.net)
Tatay Rosario Ranario, Marilou’s father, at a DFA picket in 2007
(Photo from inquirer.net)

Migrante International welcomes the home-coming of Marilou Ranario, Filipina domestic worker who was sentenced to death in January 10, 2005 for killing her Kuwaiti employer.

At the time of the crime, her family said that Marilou was “hearing things”. During a party at her employer’s house, she allegedly “heard” her employer “selling her” which prompted her to stab the former with a knife.

Marilou’s family sought the help of Migrante in 2006 after they learned that the Criminal Court of First Instance of Kuwait had sentenced Marilou to death by hanging. According to her lawyer, Marilou was being abused and ill-treated by her employer which caused her to suffer paranoia.

Migrante launched an international campaign prompting then Vice Pres. Noli de Castro to personally appeal to then Kuwait’s new Emir Sheik Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to save her life. Filipino groups worldwide and various church groups also launched series of rallies in Manila and abroad calling for clemency for Marilou.

Migrante started the campaign in the Philippines, organizing demonstrations in support of Marilou on World Day Against the Death Penalty on October 2007. Migrante then contacted the World Coalition against Death Penalty to gather international support for Marilou. Coalition member Amnesty International took up the case and launched an international appeal on behalf of Marilou, calling on citizens worldwide to write to the Kuwaitian authorities.

The campaign came to a positive conclusion on December 9, 2007, when the Kuwaiti Emir commuted Marilou’s death sentence to life imprisonment. In 2009, her sentence was further reduced to 10 years imprisonment.

Marilou is reportedly set to arrive in Manila today, after 10 years of incarceration.

“We are very happy for Marilou and the Ranario family. All our efforts have not been in vain, and we attribute this victory mainly to their fighting spirit and the collective efforts of friends, supporters and advocates,” said Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general.

Pillas said that Marilou will be welcomed in their home by Migrante International and their community when she comes home.

“There is still much help needed to campaign for the lives of other OFWs on death row. Marilou’s experience will serve as an inspiration to our kababayans as we continue the campaign to save the lives of OFWs on death row like Mary Jane Veloso,” Pillas said.

There are currently 92 OFWs on death row abroad, according to data from the Department of Foreign Affairs. ###