DFA Urged to Release Blood Money for OFW Jailed in Saudi
MANILA – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to expedite the release of the blood money to secure the freedom of seafarer Jonard Langamin from the Damman Reformatory Jail in Saudi Arabia.
“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.
Langamin has been spared from beheading after his victim’s legal heirs forgave him of his crime. The seafarer was charged with murder before the Dammam High Court in Saudi Arabia for killing fellow Filipino, Robertson Mendoza, in 2008.
Binay said Langamin needs to settle the blood money demanded by his victim’s heirs. 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.
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.
Langamin was supposed 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 will no longer be beheaded.
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.
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.