MANILA, Philippines — Two Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates have been sentenced to two months in jail for drinking liquor, a news report said Wednesday. Getting caught drunk or drinking alcohol is a leading cause of arrest and imprisonment of Filipinos in the Middle East.
Philippine Consul General Benito Valeriano was quoted by online news site Khaleej Times (www.khaleejtimes.com) saying the latest drinkers arrested were caught drinking outside their accommodation in the UAE state of Sharjah. They were sentenced to two months in jail.
Valeriano took the opportunity to warn other Filipinos in the UAE to avoid excessive drinking sprees so as not to get in trouble.
“I know that it is your way of enjoyment, but it is difficult for you to go against UAE laws against drunkenness. If arrested for such a crime, there are dire consequences not only on the person but on his employment as he can be deported after serving jail," he said.
Such a habit of going into drinking sprees, especially on birthdays and other special occasions must be cut as it is considered a crime in the UAE, he warned.
Alcohol-related violations are also one of the biggest causes of trouble for Filipinos working in other parts of the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia.
When President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited Saudi Arabia in May 2006, King Abdullah ordered the release of 682 Filipinos from jails all over the kingdom, mostly related to alcohol, gambling and immorality.
Several months later, however, Philippine Embassy officials complained that more than 300 Filipinos were again arrested mostly for alcohol-related offenses. - GMANews.TV