Nine Filipinos Detained in Qatar

THE families of nine Filipinos, five of them pastors, appealed to the government on Sunday to intervene following their two-month detention in Qatar for still-uncertain reasons and without charges being filed against them.

It was learned that six of the detained Filipinos are bona-fide members of The Lord’s Hand Ministries, established in the Philippines in 1993 with principal church-office at 14 T. Concepcion Street, Marulas Valenzuela City, with satellites and churches in several cities, provinces and abroad, including one in Doha, Qatar.

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Among those detained is Joseph Apilado, the congregational apostle and senior pastor of the church who was on a visiting status, and the others are migrant workers.

Apilado went to Doha, Qatar, on March 5 for the purpose of visiting the church in Doha, to hold church trainings and to celebrate the anniversary of the church. He was also there to give spiritual-moral support and to encourage one of the church leaders, Abdallah Yousef Chua, who was so discouraged at that time owing to company-related problems.

According to the witnesses, on the dawn of March 28, between 1 and 2 a.m., people who identified themselves as Doha policemen barged in by destroying the front door of the villa where Apilado and other members of the church were staying.

The men arrested Chua, Domel Perez and Apilado. The detailed report of the incident was submitted immediately by their families to the Philippine Embassy to Qatar.

The three were allegedly detained in a safe house for almost a month. After the three’s arrest, other Filipinos were also picked up on different occasions for questioning and were likewise detained.

The other Filipinos who were arrested include Ronald Ulep, Rafael Alamares, Renie Magcosta, Abner Penaranda, Boyet Salvosa and a certain Ibrahim.

After being taken into custody, the detained Filipinos were held incommunicado. Inquiry of the Philippine Embassy in Qatar as to their conditions and the charges against them had not been answered clearly by the Qatar government.

The Foreign Affairs Office and Ministry of Interior of Qatar admitted only after a month that the following Filipino nationals were in the custody of State Security Bureau and they used the protracted process of investigation as excuse for arbitrary detention and deprivation of communication.

Source: Business Mirror