Schizophrenic Filipino Driver Exempted from the Death Sentence
By Adnan Al-Shabrawi
JEDDAH — A Filipino driver was exempted from the death sentence for recklessly driving and killing four people because he suffers from schizophrenia.
A source said the incident of the Filipino driver Rino, who killed four people in a road accident took place eight years ago.
“The Penal Court reported the incident took place at dawn when Rino woke up and walked out of his room at the Saudi Airline’s worker’s residence in Al-Khaldiyah District north of Jeddah. He had in his hand a hammer and a screw driver and stalked angrily towards a worker in the parking lot,” said the source.
The source also said he smashed the windows of a worker’s car and then took over a bus with the capacity for 50 seats.
“The engine of the bus was on and there were 12 workers in it. He snatched the passengers’ cellphones and yelled at them to remain seated. He then drove the bus down King Abdulaziz Road in top speed and without conforming to the direction of the road,” said the source.
The source also said the driver went past Sari Street, Al-Nid Street, Prince Naif Road and Hiraa Street as he drove for 15 km.
“Three of the passengers on the bus jumped out of the window to save their lives but one of them died. The other two suffered from severe injuries. Rino continued driving ignoring all traffic lights and passing the airport checkpoint,” said the source.
The source also said Rino crashed into many vehicles and killed a young man, his mother and sister.
“The public attorney demanded the death sentence for the Filipino driver as his murder was intentional and by his own will. The General Court had sentenced Rino to death at the time of the investigation of the case,” said the source.
The source said the Court of Appeals repealed the sentence and the Supreme Court will be looking into the case again.
“The Judicial Committee stated the incident was one of the most abhorrent ones resulting in the incidental murder of Saad Al-Qarni, Aidhah Al-Amry, Almah Al-Amry and Waheed Mayat. The initial sentence on Rino was paying SR250,000 in compensation to damages and the death sentence for murder.
However, the Court of Appeals had repealed the sentence based on the medical reports of Rino and the Supreme Court had to open the case again,” said the source.
The source also said Rino told the court and investigators that he started working for Saudi Airline in October 2008 as a driver.
“Rino added he began to have anxiety over his family in the Philippines and began to hear voices around him. He picked up a hammer and a screw driver to protect himself from the voices. He went to the room where the voices were to face them. Then he took over the bus and drove it frantically across the city. When the police came, he stopped the bus and stepped out of it in an attempt to escape on foot but the police were able to arrest him and he confessed to all the damage he caused,” said the source.
The source also said Rino’s medical reports that were done as part of his application to the job show that he is fully stable and healthy and does not suffer from any diseases and his medical reports from the Philippines confirm the same results as well. Rino even passed training workshops at his work place with no recorded complaints or notices against him or his behavior.
“However, Taif Mental Hospital reported Rino has schizophrenia and is prone to hallucinations and poor judgments of situations. In response, the Judicial Committee decided to mitigate the criminal responsibility on Rino and detain him with psychological and medical care,” said the source.