15 September 2020 :
A Filipino who was sentenced to death in Kuwait for the murder of his Filipina partner in October 2007 has been pardoned by the nation's Amir, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on 12 September 2020.
After receiving clemency from Kuwait's Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Bienvenido Espino was repatriated to Manila on 30 August.
“The Philippine government, through the Embassy, had been asking the Kuwaiti government to pardon OFW Espino. No less than then-presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III personally appealed to His Highness The Amir to grant clemency to OFW Espino," Chargé d’Affaires Mohammed Noordin Pendosina Lomondot said in a statement.
He said that 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."
On behalf of the government and President Rodrigo Duterte, Lomondot extended his gratitude to the Kuwaiti Amir for granting pardon to Espino.
The Kuwaiti Court of First Instance in May 2008 found Espino guilty of the murder of his Filipina partner in October 2007 and sentenced him 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.
Espino received a "tanazul" or letter of forgiveness from the family of his late Filipina partner after settling the blood money for the crime, leading to the commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment in 2013.
He received the Amiri pardon during the recently-concluded Eid season, along with other Filipino detainees at the Sulaibiya Central Jail.“I hope that OFW Espino will carry with him the experiences and lessons of the past as he starts a new life in the Philippines. I wish him well in his future endeavors,” Lomondot said in his message to Espino.