Filipino Pastors Tortured, Sentenced to Death in Muslim Qatar

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


tlh-pastors

Qatar is the totalitarian state behind Al Jazeera. It is closely entangled with Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups which is why Obama used it to arrange the Bergdahl deal.

This story is also a reminder of why non-Muslims and foreigners should be wary of traveling to Qatar.

The ambassador of the Philippines to Qatar told Al Arabiya News on Friday that there are allegations of torture against three Filipinos being held in the Gulf state on espionage charges.

One man was sentenced to death and two to life in in prison this week after they were indicted of leaking information that could threaten the tiny rich state’s national security.

“All allegations of torture were relayed to Qatari officials, such as the Minister of Interior, the Attorney General and the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, all of whom promised to look into the matter,” the ambassador said.

He noted that the torture allegations were also raised in the lower court by the defense lawyer, “who argued that, in view of torture, their confessions were obtained involuntarily.”

“However, the court did not appreciate said fact,” Ambassador Relacion said.

According to the Qatari authorities, the Filipino pastors were spying on its military. Considering that that the Philippines and Qatar don’t exactly share a border or common military concerns and that Qatar’s military largely consists of princelings smuggling American weapons to Jihadists, that’s not a terribly convincing claim.

The Doha News said the three were charged of providing information “to intelligence officials in the Philippines about Qatar’s aircrafts, weaponry, maintenance and servicing records, as well as specific details about the names, ranks and phone numbers of staff members.”

The main defendant, the report said, allegedly received millions of riyals in exchange for spying services.

“He’s also alleged to have provided maps, internal reports and classified information about the Qatari Air Force base to Filipino officials, as well as recruiting the other two defendants, who worked in the engineering department of the first man’s company and were technicians at the air force base,” the report said.

This is the type of information that the UAE or the Saudis might be interested, not the Philippines.

So what is this really about? There are two intersecting possibilities.

The 3 Filipinos are pastors at a born-again church in Qatar.

According to 3 pastors of the church’s affiliate in the Philippines, they were also arrested with the 3 Filipinos in Qatar in 2010.

The pastors said there was a change in administration at Qatar Petroleum, and an investigation was being done. Since the Filipinos were close to the head of the company, who was about to be removed, they were also investigated.

According to the pastors, other members of the born-again church also experienced torture during interrorgation.

Qatar, like every totalitarian petrostate, is notoriously corrupt and its princelings blame their crimes on foreigners. It certainly didn’t help that the foreigners were not only Christians, but pastors.

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.

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.

Chua was apparently a Muslim who converted to Christianity. He was not a Qatari, but his presence was a likely lightning rod.

Qatar is PR savvy enough not to hold a blasphemy trial, but it just does the same thing under the guise of national security.

  • Jakareh

    How ridiculous is it that South Africa was banned from sporting events while the hellish, jihad-ridden sore thumb of the Gulf, whose behavior is 100 worse, not only is not banned but is awarded the World Cup, the world’s largest sporting event?

    • crusader

      Qatar won the World Cup because of BRIBES and islamic infiltration. I am surprised you don’t know this. Check out the link below…

      http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27652181

      • the old skeptic

        He may very well know it, hence the sarcasm.

  • herb benty

    The Holy Spirit of the Living God makes Islamists nervous, hence, the violence all over the world. Hang in there Christians and Jews, our Redeemer is coming!

  • the truth

    There is freedom of worship in the Gulf States but not religion meaning churches can’t ring bells, have any external symbols of Christianity, perform public processions, and certainly not evangelize. Chua who was a Muslim convert and so was used as a pretext to arrest the others. Better to witness than to convert others in the gulf or this will result.

    • Susan Dizon

      Sorry – name me one Islamic Terrorist who’s ever invented anything noteworthy. I mean wouldn’t it be amazing if one of these terrorists invented the iPhone? They can’t. Because God didn’t give them brains or talent. He gave it to the people in the West.

  • conan_drum

    To state the obvious. Obama trusts this country to keep 5 jihadists under survellance, what is he thinking.
    I suspect that large cash donations were made to the ‘rulers’ of that country as well
    As to the pastors they are either very naive or very courageous, They ought to know the risks of even appearing to give support for Christianity in those ME countries

  • barakooo

    Filipinos are always victim of foul play in the middle east. Lack of respect towards the Philippine gov’t and its people is all because of how the country is ruled by corrupt politicians, past and present. Hopefully the next one will follow the young Aquino’s lead of punishing those who get caught. It’s time for the country to elect a honest, forceful and patriotic president who will sacrifice everything to make the country better and hopefully change its course.

  • david ervin

    I’ve gone to a church in Doha many times in my sporadic visits there. I’ve helped a Chinese/Malaysian church there as well.

    The congregation is avid but wary. And well they should be. The popular minister (2010~) was sent home after he fell prey to a sting operation. He baptized a couple of men at their request. Turns out that they were government plants and it’s a crime to lure muslims away from allah.

    The government demanded his immediate expulsion but, as he was a ranking official with an important company, he was allowed to stay to the end of his current iqama. To his credit, his fervor never dimmed.

  • Susan Dizon

    I so wish one of these Islamic terrorists would invent a cure for cancer in the name of their religion….of course they won’t. The only thing they’ve ever invented is terrorism – shame on them. The only reason Qatar is rich is oil. That’s why I drive an electric car