MANILA, Philippines - An overseas Filipino worker, who is on death row for killing a fellow Filipino in Saudi Arabia, may be freed within the next 3 months. This comes after the victim's family signed a "tanazul" or affidavit of forgiveness on Monday.
Bert Almazan Mendoza, father of victim Robertson Mendoza, signed the affidavit of forgiveness that stated they are no longer demaing punishment of death against Jonard Langamin. They would also not object to his release from prison and deportation back to the Philippines.
The tanazul is considered a "gesture of peace and goodwill under Shari’a law that waives all private or civil rights against the accused." Under Saudi Arabian law, if the victim's next of kin grants its forgiveness, the State will no longer punish the accused for the crime committed.
"We were told by the DFA that Langamin could be released within three months," Vice-President Jejomar Binay said, in a statement.
Langamin stabbed Robertson Mendoza to death in 2008 in Saudi Arabia, because the victim apparently prevented him from singing. He was sentenced to death by beheading.
Binay had intervened in the case, facilitating a meeting between the victim’s father, Bert, and the mother of the accused, Editha Langamin at the Coconut Palace on Wednesday. The dialogue was a success, with Editha getting Bert's forgiveness, in behalf of her son.
Former ambassador Enrico Endaya, executive director of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs said the "tanazul" will be immediately sent to the Philippine embassy in Saudi Arabia.
The embassy will present it to the Damman Higher Court. Langamin is expected to be freed within the next 3 months.