An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on death row in Saudi Arabia has been spared from beheading after his victim’s legal heirs forgave him for his crime, Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Wednesday.
To enable OFW Jonard La-ngamin to spend Christmas with his family, the Vice President asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to expedite the release of the “blood money.”
Langamin is detained at the Dammam Reformatory Jail.
He needs to settle the blood money demanded by his victim’s heirs, Binay pointed out in a statement.
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 negotiations between the family of the victim and the accused.
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, the Office of the Vice President in Metro Manila.
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 as a result, Langamin will no longer be beheaded.
Meanwhile, Binay assured other detained Filipino workers abroad that the government continues to monitor their cases and strive to secure their freedom.