OFW Crime in Saudi Arabia

The family of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) killed by a fellow Filipino in Saudi Arabia in 2008 has granted its forgiveness to the family of the accused through the intercession of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Binay, the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns, met with the Bert Mendoza, father of victim Robertson Mendoza, and the mother of accused Jonard Langamin, Editha, at the Coconut Palace on Wednesday morning.

During the meeting which he presided, the Vice President guaranteed Langamin that her son would be given full legal support by the Philippine government.

“Maraming salamat po sa inyo Vice President at natulungan niyo po kaming mailigtas ang buhay ng anak ko,” a tearful Langamin told Binay.

The Vice President likewise guaranteed Mendoza that his family would get all the benefits and assistance his son Robertson was entitled to.

“Ako na po ang gumarantiya sa inyo na tutulong po kaming makuha niyo lahat nang benepisyo na karapat-dapat makuha ng inyong anak,” Binay told Mendoza.

According to the Deparment of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Langamin stabbed to death fellow crew member Mendoza because the victim was preventing the former from singing.

The case is now pending before the Damman Higher Court.

In Saudi Arabia law, the private aspect of the case is more important than the public aspect. The private aspect involves the next of kin of the victim granting its forgiveness to the family of the accused, while the public aspect deals with the state punishing the accused for the crime committed.

If the next of kin grants its forgiveness, the state will no longer pursue the public aspect.

Binay instructed former ambassador Enrico Endaya, Executive Director of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) of the DFA, who was also at the meeting, to expedite the transmittal of the necessary documents to the courts in Saudi Arabia to facilitate Langamin’s release.

Also present in the meeting were Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and Susan Ople, President of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, who helped Langamin’s family in the mediation.

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