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Six absconding Filipino pilgrims asked to leave.

Rodolfo C. Estimo Jr. | Arab News <p>RIYADH: Six of the 528 Filipino pilgrims who performed Umrah during Ramadan did not return to the Philippines, which is in violation of their respective visas, according to Consul General Ezzedin H. Tago.

Tago urged the six pilgrims to facilitate their return to the Philippines promptly so that their overstaying doesn't adversely affect future Kabayan pilgrim quotas. According to the Haj attachE[umlaut] of the consulate, Solaiman C. Mutia, the Saudi government can ban Umrah pilgrims from a country where three percent of the pilgrims absconded in the previous Umrah season.

The six overstaying pilgrims were identified: Omarsali U. Elias of Zamboanga City; Laila S. Omar, Ahmad M. Hasan and Maida A. Majantih from Tuburan, Basilan; and Fatima M. Alim and Nasim A. Samporna from Marawi City.

As a result, their passports were turned over to the Philippine Consulate General by the Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) through the Office of the Haj attachE[umlaut] for safekeeping. Mutia said that in previous years there were more Filipino pilgrims who overstayed their Umrah visas and did not return to the Philippines as scheduled. He added that the number of overstaying pilgrims has greatly lessened. Mutia added that one unfortunate event in this year's Philippine Umrah program was the death of Sabdullah T. Maute, of Marawi City, on Sept. 20.

The consulate extended full assistance with the immediate issuance of necessary documents for his immediate burial.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Oct 8, 2009
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