OFW jailed for murder in Kuwait freed, flies home to Philippines
MANILA, Philippines — An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was earlier sentenced to death in Kuwait for killing his Filipina partner is now free after being granted clemency by the Amir of Kuwait, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.
In a statement, the DFA said Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Chargé d’Affaires and Consul General Pendosina Lomondot sent off the OFW, identified as Bienvenido Espino, at the Kuwait International Airport last Aug. 30.
Espino was granted clemency by Kuwait’s amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
“On behalf of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, my deepest and most profound gratitude goes to His Highness The Amir for granting clemency to OFW Bienvenido Espino, and for giving our kababayan a chance to start a new life in the Philippines,” Lomondot said.
“The Philippine government, through the Embassy, had been asking the Kuwaiti government to pardon OFW Espino,” Lomondot added.
“No less than then-Presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno S. Aquino III personally appealed to His Highness The Amir to grant clemency to OFW Espino. Even after his death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in 2013, the Philippine government remained persistent in appealing for the Amir’s pardon, through our letters to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
In May 2008, Espino was found guilty of murder by the Kuwaiti Court of First Instance and sentenced the OFW to death by hanging.
The decision was upheld by the Kuwaiti Court of Appeals in January 2009, and by the Kuwait Court of Cassation in November 2009.
The OFW, however, received a tanazul or letter of forgiveness from the family of his late partner after settling the blood money for the crime he committed.
Because of the tanazul, his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment in 2013.
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