Saudi Arabia unlikely to hand over remains of beheaded Filipino – DFA
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) doubted that Saudi Arabia would hand over to the Philippines the remains of the Filipino it executed last Friday for the murder of a Saudi national.
But when asked if this were possible, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, the DFA spokesperson, said the DFA would still explore the possibility of having Carlito Lana’s remains repatriated.
“But we strongly doubt this would be granted by the Saudi government,” Jose told reporters, adding that Saudi Arabia has never repatriated the remains of foreigners it executed.
Jose said Lana’s family was at the DFA on Monday but he did not know what they discussed with the Office of Migrant Affairs.
Lana was beheaded on Friday but Filipino diplomats in Riyadh were notified about it only after the execution.
Lana, who had converted to Islam, was buried in accordance with Muslim law, which states that a believer must be buried before sunset or within 24 hours from death.
Jose made it clear the DFA was aware of Lana’s case in which he was convicted in 2011 for the shooting death the year before of his Saudi employer, Nasser Khalid Suweid al-Qahtani. Lana also ran over Nasser with the latter’s car in his haste to escape.
“Our embassy in Riyadh gave him consular and legal assistance. We hired a local lawyer who negotiated with the family of the victim but, unfortunately, the family refused (the offer of blood money),” Jose said.
He said the DFA was aware that Lana was on death row and that he would be executed.
“It was only the specific day and time that was not announced by the Saudi government,” he said.
On Sept. 14, 2011, Lana was sentenced to be beheaded by the Riyadh Grand Court but this was appealed by the Philippine government the following month. The Grand Court’s decision was affirmed by the Appellate Court and on Dec. 29, 2012, Lana’s case was forwarded to the Emarah.
The Emarah ordered the court decision carried out and this was conveyed to the Philippine Embassy on April 21, 2013.
On April 15, 2013, the case was forwarded to the Supreme Judicial Council for review.
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