Beng seeks update on Ong couple in Malaysia PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 March 2011 16:44

House Deputy Speaker Beng Climaco has written the Department of Foreign Affairs seeking updates on the plight of a Zamboangueno couple sentenced by the Malaysian Court to die by hanging for drug trafficking.

At the same time, the District I Representative also asked the House of Representatives to assess the plight of Filipinos, specifically Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are victims of drug trafficking in other countries.

Zamboangueno couple Timhar Jimdani Ong and wife Nurie Ammang Ong are among the numerous Filipinos who are sentenced to die by hanging for alleged drug trafficking. Last September it was reported that they were given only until the end of that month to appeal for reversal which prompted the national government through representations of Cong. Climaco to undertake all necessary measures to save the couple from execution.

“I wrote the DFA to give us update on the plight of the Filipinos but more extensively we are asking the House of Representatives to really assess the plight of Filipinos, particularly the overseas Filipino workers who are victims of drug trafficking”, the lady solon said.

She likewise met with Timhar’s brother recently to also get other updates regarding the couple’s situation in Malaysia.

Similar to the experiences of other incarcerated OFWS, reports say that the Ong couple entered Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in August 2005 as tourists for trading purposes. Apparently, a Filipino woman befriended the couple and left in the couple’s care a box containing several items, which, authorities later discovered to contain 336 grams of shabu, causing the couple’s arrest.
The Ong couple has five children—all studying in different schools in the city. They are currently under the care of their grandmother.
Meanwhile, Climaco has cautioned all OFWS or Filipinos travelling abroad “to be very cautious in bringing or receiving items that they are unaware of which might lead to problems in airports abroad”.
“Drug trafficking is a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death. This is a stern warning to prevent other Filipinos from being victimized,” the lady solon said as she lamented that such situation does not choose genders.

She stressed: “Sad to say that it does not choose whether you are a male or a female but it is the Filipno families in the country that suffer from the plight of OFWS being victimized abroad because  of drug trafficking”.

On the other hand, the House Deputy Speaker has also made representations with Malacanang for the possible assistance to Zamboanguenos who are trapped in the ongoing turmoil in Libya and other countries due to political unrest. — Rham Joseph Cabasag