OFW Beheaded in Saudi for Killing Employer Forcing him to Pray during Muslim Prayer Time

MANILA – (UPDATE) Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and the Department of Foreign Affairs on Saturday confirmed the beheading of a Filipino a day earlier in Saudi Arabia.

DFA said Carlito Lana, 37, was convicted for murdering his employer in December 2010. He was sentenced to death after the family of the victim refused to execute an Affidavit of Forgiveness (tanazul) in exchange for blood money.

Lana is survived by his parents, and two siblings, a brother and a sister.

The Vice President said that based on initial reports from the Philippine embassy in Riyadh, Carlito Lana was taken from his cell at around 9:30 a.m. and executed at around 3 p.m.

“It’s really sad news,” Binay remarked.

The Vice President is the presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Concerns.

He said the Saudi government does not give advance notice to prisoners and their foreign embassies of execution dates. Official notices are issued only after the execution, he said.

According to the Vice President, Lana was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by beheading or qisas.

The family of his victim, his employer, a 65-year old Saudi national, did not issue an affidavit of forgiveness, which is needed under Saudi law to prevent an execution.

Under Shariah law, the next of kin would decide whether to advise the court to implement the death sentence (qisas) or that the family is willing to forgive and spare the life of the convict in consideration of accepting blood money, the DFA said.

Blood money is the amount of money paid or given to the victim’s heirs for the death or injury inflicted upon the victim. It is part of the customs and laws of the Arabs and Muslims.

Details of the crime

Lana shot his victim, then tried to flee using his victim’s car and, in doing so, ran over the latter’s head.

An embassy report said Lana claimed that his employer was a good man and they had good relations, but he was being pressured to pray during Muslim prayer time.

Binay said that based on reports from the DFA, Lana’s lawyer tried several times but failed to convince the victim’s son to meet Lana’s mother and receive her letter asking for forgiveness.

President Aquino also wrote a letter to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz requesting the Saudi king’s intercession in convincing the heirs of the victim to enter into an amicable settlement.

The Vice President said he is waiting for an official report from the Embassy on the execution.

He has also asked DFA to provide him an update on the cases of other jailed Filipinos where the victim’s heirs have not issued affidavits of forgiveness.

Assistance to Lana

The Philippine government provided the late Lana all necessary and appropriate assistance and ensured that his legal rights were observed throughout the whole judicial process, the DFA said. Lana was given a fair trial and the Philippine embassy engaged the services of the Al Quwaizani law office and legal consultants to represent him in court to ensure that all his legal rights were respected and all legal procedures were being followed.

The Philippine government also facilitated the two visits of Lana’s mother to the prison facility in Riyadh where he was incarcerated, the DFA said.

As a Muslim convert and in accordance with Muslim traditions, the remains of Mr. Lana were buried in Saudi Arabia.

“We shall continue to extend assistance to the late OFW’s family,” the DFA added.

“Once again, we appeal to our nationals overseas to observe the local laws of their host countries, and to avoid involvement in criminal activities,” DFA said.

(Source: InterAksyon.com)

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