OFW in death row home soon

An Overseas Filipino Worker who is facing the death penalty for killing a fellow Filipino in Saudi Arabia will soon be freed after the victim’s family decided to forgive him during a dialogue mediated by Vice President Jejomar C. Binay Wednesday.

Binay, the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns,  facilitated the reconciliation of both the families in a meeting with the victim Robertson Mendoza’s father, Bert; and the mother of accused Jonard Langamin, Editha, at the Coconut Palace.

During the meeting which he presided, the Vice President guaranteed Langamin that her son would be given full legal support by the Philippine government.

“Maraming salamat po sa inyo Vice President at natulungan niyo po kaming mailigtas ang buhay ng anak ko,” a tearful Langamin told Binay.

The Vice President likewise guaranteed Mendoza that his family would get all benefits and assistance his son Robertson was entitled to.

“Ako na po ang gumarantiya sa inyo na tutulong po kaming makuha niyo lahat ng benepisyo na karapat-dapat makuha ng inyong anak,” Binay told Mendoza.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Langamin stabbed to death fellow crew member Mendoza because the victim was preventing the former from singing.

The case is now pending before the Damman Higher Court.

In Saudi Arabia law, the private aspect of the case is more important than the public aspect. The private aspect involves the next of kin of the victim granting its forgiveness to the family of the accused, while the public aspect deals with the state punishing the accused for the crime committed.

If the next of kin grants its forgiveness, the state will no longer pursue the public aspect.

Binay instructed former ambassador Enrico Endaya, Executive Director of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA of the DFA, who was also at the meeting, to expedite the transmittal of the necessary documents to the courts in Saudi Arabia to facilitate Langamin’s release.

Also present in the meeting were Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and Susan Ople, President of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, who helped Langamin’s family in the mediation.#