An overseas Filipino worker who killed another Filipino in Saudi Arabia in 2008 was spared from the death penalty after the victim's relatives forgave him and might be reunited with his family this Christmas.
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday said he has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to expedite the release of the "blood money" so that Jonard Langamin can spend Christmas with his family.
Langamin is currently detained at the Dammam Reformatory Jail.
"This would be a great gift for our overseas workers who wish to be with their families to celebrate Christmas," Binay said.
Binay added that Langamin would have to settle the blood money demanded by his victim's heirs.
Once the needed amount has been paid 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.
Under Saudi law, the private aspect of the case is more important than the public aspect - the private aspect involves the victim's next of kin granting forgiveness to the family of the accused.
In contrast, the public aspect deals with the state punishing the accused for the crime committed.
Should the next of kin grant forgiveness, the state will no longer pursue the public aspect.
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 as a result, Langamin will no longer be beheaded.
Source: Manila Standard Today, November 26, 2014