President Rodrigo Duterte may seek pardon for the three Filipino workers who were given life sentences in Qatar for allegedly committing espionage and economic sabotage.
In a news briefing, Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Alan Timbayan said the President, who is currently visiting the Middle East for a three-country swing, might appeal to Qatar Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Al Thani for the release of the workers who are detained in Doha.
“We are hopeful that during the visit of the President, he will also request the pardon,” Timbayan said.
"We have informed the President, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, about their cases," he added.
The three Filipino workers were previously given death sentences but their penalties were reduced to imprisonment following an appeal by the Philippine government.
One of the detainees,"Chua Tan," was an employee of a Qatari state-owned company and he is serving a life sentence.
The two others, "Ulep" and "Alamarez" were technicians in the Qatari Air Force and they are now serving 15-year jail terms.
They were charged with espionage and economic sabotage after allegedly passing on Qatar's military and economic secrets to the Philippine government.
“They have served their sentences, seven years in prison,” Timbayan noted.
He added that the possible appeal by Duterte will be “in the interest of Filipino workers who are prison.”
The Philippine government already denied conducting any spying activities in Qatar.
All three men have been languishing in jail since 2010.