Philippines says 3 Filipinos convicted for spying in Qatar

Philippines says 3 Filipinos convicted for spying in Qatar

MANILA - The Philippines said Monday three Filipinos had been convicted of espionage in Qatar, with one sentenced to death and the others to life in jail.

The trio were sentenced last month by a local court for selling information deemed threatening to Qatar's national security, foreign department spokesman Charles Jose said.

"We are extending legal assistance to them as the case goes through an appeals court," Jose said.

"One of the three was meted death penalty, and the (other) two life (imprisonment)." The identities of the three and the circumstances surrounding the case could not be made available due to the sensitivity of the case, Jose said.

Phone calls to Qatar's embassy in Manila went unanswered on Monday morning.

An estimated 10 million Filipinos, or about a 10th of the population, live and work abroad to escape poverty, including many thousands in the Middle East.

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