Joven Esteva’s Execution Caught Family Off Guard

(Updated 3:29 p.m.) The execution of Filipino worker Joven Esteva in Saudi Arabia on Monday caught his family in the Philippines off guard, a television report said Tuesday.

According to a report on GMA News TV’s “News To Go,” Esteva’s widow Nerli, who is based in Koronadal City, was even able to talk to him on the phone a few hours before he was executed.

It added that Esteva’s four children were actually in the process of securing passports so they could visit him in Saudi Arabia.

Esteva, 39, was sentenced to death for murdering his Saudi employer and injuring his employer’s son in 2007. His remains have already been buried in Saudi Arabia, in accordance with their law.

Meanwhile, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said they had given Esteva all the necessary assistance.

“We have provided Mr. Esteva all necessary and appropriate legal and consular assistance, including providing a lawyer, since his arrest in 2007,” Jose said Monday.

The DFA said last September that there were 79 Filipinos abroad who were on death row.

Meanwhile, a Catholic prelate expressed sadness over Esteva’s execution, and the Filipino faithful to pray for his soul.

“We are saddened by the death of our kababayan in Saudi who was executed for a crime he committed there. Every life is important and we pray for him that his soul may rest in peace thru the mercy of God,” said Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos.

The bishop noted that the incident should remind the public especially those with relatives working abroad about the difficulties their loved ones are facing while working in another country.

“This unfortunate event is a reminder for us of the extreme difficulties our OFWs go thru and experience,” he said.

(Source: Andrei Medina/KBK, GMA News)

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