VP Binay to jailed OFWs: gov’t is working to secure your freedom

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay assured detained Filipino workers abroad that the government continues to monitor their cases and strive to secure their freedom.

“Sana malaman ng mga kababayan natin na iyong pamahalaan, through the Department of Foreign Affairs tsaka sa embassy, hindi naman po tayo nagpapabaya,” Binay said during the courtesy call ofRodelio “Dondon” Lanuza at the Coconut Palace Monday.

“Sa lahat ng yugto ng [kanilang kaso], nandoon [ang pamahalaan], tinitingnan kung anong nangyari sa proceedings. Merong uma-attend doon,” he added.

The Vice President cited the case of Jonard Langamin who was charged with murder before the Dammam High Court in Saudi Arabia for killing a fellow Filipino, Robertson Mendoza, in 2008.

Mendoza’s family initially asked P5 million as bloodmoney, which was lowered to P2 million after Binay reconciled both families during a meeting at the Coconut Palace.

Mendoza’s father signed a tanazul or affidavit of forgiveness after the Vice President paid the bloodmoney from his personal funds.

Langamin was expected to be released in March 2012. The court, however, ruled that Mendoza’s mother should be the official representative of the family and she asked for the remaining P3 million of the bloodmoney.

Binay’s office said it is trying to talk with Mendoza’s mother to reach a favorable settlement.

In a recent report, Langamin said he wish he could also go home to his family just like Lanuza.

Lanuza arrived in Manila September 19 after languishing in a Saudi jail for 13 years for the murder of a Saudi national.

Lanuza escaped the death sentence after his family, with the help of Saudi King Abdullah and the Philippine government, paid SAR 3 million or almost P35 million in blood money to the victim’s relatives.

Binay said Lanuza’s going home is like a “happy ending” to his 13-year ordeal.

“Hinihimok ko nga siyang sumulat ‘nung kaniyang karanasan. Ang daming first time dito. Isang first time dito iyong hari nagbigay ng milyun-milyong piso,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lanuza said he intends to help Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and the government be aware of how the system works inside Saudi jails, how cases are handled, and how to raise funds.

The Vice President concurrently serves as the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns.#