OFW who escaped death penalty for ‘killing’ partner now back home — DFA

By CNN Philippines Staff

An overseas Filipino worker in Kuwait who was initially sentenced to death for the killing of his Filipina partner over a decade ago is now back in the country, thanks to the pardon granted by the Amir of Kuwait, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Saturday.

The OFW, identified as Bienvenido Espino, who was released from a 13-year detention, is among the 314 overseas Filipinos whom the DFA helped bring home on August 30. They availed of the government repatriation program amid the coronavirus pandemic, the DFA said in a statement.

It took more than 10 years for Espino to be granted clemency, the DFA said, adding that he received the “Amiri pardon” along with his fellow Filipino detainees at the Sulaibiya Central Jail.

The DFA noted it has been 12 years since the Philippine government first sought the Amiri pardon for the convicted Filipino.

A Kuwaiti court had handed Espino a guilty verdict on charges of murdering his partner in October 2007, and sentenced him to death by hanging in May 2008, the DFA said. The ruling was upheld by both the appeals court and the high tribunal in Kuwait in 2009.

But Espino’s punishment was revised to life imprisonment in 2013 after he received a “tanazul” or letter of forgiveness from the family of his late partner, which he got in exchange for blood money.

“The issuance of a tanazul led to the commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment in 2013,” the DFA said.

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