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Philippine Vice President Jejomar C. Binay

VP Binay says OFW in Saudi spared from beheading

Philippine  Vice President Jejomar C. Binay
Philippine Vice President Jejomar C. Binay

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Saudi death row has been spared from beheading after his victim’s legal heirs forgave him for his crime.
Binay also asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to expedite the release of the blood money so OFW Jonard Langamin can spend Christmas with his family.
Langamin is currently detained at the Dammam Reformatory Jail.
“Nananawagan po ako sa Department of Foreign Affairs na asikasuhing mabuti ang pagbayad ng blood money ni Jonard. Napakagandang regalo po ito sa ating kababayan na makapiling ang kanyang pamilya ngayong kapaskuhan,” Binay said.
Binay added that Langamin needs to settle the blood money demanded by his victim’s heirs.
Once the needed amount has been given to the victim’s family, Judge Sheikh Ahmad Najmi Al Otaibe of the Dammam High Court will schedule a marathon hearing for the closure of the public right aspect of the case and eventually decide on Langamin’s immediate deportation.
The private right aspect of the case concerns the negotiations between the family of the victim and the accused. Meanwhile, the public right aspect of the case represents the criminal liability of the accused to the state.
Langamin is a seafarer 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 blood money, which was lowered to P2 million after Binay reconciled both families during a meeting at the Coconut Palace.
Langamin was expected to be released in March 2012 after Mendoza’s father signed a tanazul or affidavit of forgiveness. The court, however, ruled that Mendoza’s mother, Rosemarie Santiago, should be the official representative of the family.
According to Binay, on November 3, Judge Sheikh Ahmad Najmi Al Otaibe accepted the tanazul presented by Santiago and a result, Langamin wil no longer be beheaded.
Meanwhile, Binay assured other detained Filipino workers abroad that the government continues to monitor their cases and strives to secure their freedom.
“Hindi po nagpapabaya ang pamahalaan na bantayan at tulungan kayo. Makakaasa po kayo na nariyan ang mga kawani ng Department of Foreign Affairs upang samahan kayo sa bawat yugto ng inyong mga kaso,” Binay said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.