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    Posted June 22, 2015 by
    invictus1819
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    Philippines

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    In the womb of time: 19 years in Kuwait's Central Prison, Part 2

     
    OFW in Kuwait's Sulaibiya
    Prison pleads for Binay's help

    Here's one for Vice President Jejomar "Jojo" Binay, and other Filipinos with a heart of gold.

    An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) languishing for 19 years in Sulaibiya Central Prison of the Arab State of Kuwait yesterday appealed to Binay for help. The Vice President is the presidential adviser on OFW Concerns.

    On Wednesday, Joseph Yusuf Urbiztondo, 43, appealed to President Aquino to help him.

    "Ako po ay lubhang hirap na hirap na sa aking kalagayan dito sa kulungan sa Kuwait, o aking minamahal na Pangulo ng Pilipinas," he pleaded.

    (I am already suffering too much in my condition here in Kuwait, my beloved President of the Philippines.)

    On his Facebook account, here is Urbiztondo's latest heart-rending plea for help.

    "KUMAKAKATOK AT HUMINGI NG TULONG SA INYONG LAHAT AT PATI SA OFW PILIPINO . NA MATULUNGAN MABUO YUN PERA . PARA SA MAAGANG MAKUHA NA ANG AKING TANAZUL (RELEASE PAPER FREEDOM) SA BANGLADESH , DHAKA . YAN NALANG ANG HINIHINTAY NA MABUO YUN PERA . PARA SA AKING MAAGANG MABILIS NA PAGLAYA SA BANSANG KUWAIT .
    19 YEARS . . . . . ENOUGH . . . . . . BRING ME BACK HOME IN PHILIPPINES .
    GOD BLESS US ALL . . .
    AMEEN ."

    Roughly, Urbiztondo said: "I am knocking at your door and appealing for help to complete the amount for my 'tanazul' (forgiveness to be executed and signed by the heir/s of the victim.

    Urbiztondo, a professional tennis coach and trainer, of Bacoor, Cavite, told the Manila Bulletin he needs only US$6,000 (just over P270,000), the amount that stands between his steel cells and freedom.

    "Lubos na umaasa na sana matulungan niyo ako sa aking mabilis, maagang paglaya," he said.

    (I am deeply hopeful that you can help me towards my immediate freedom.)

    His wife, Edna Tacapan Urbiztondo, has joined the pleas for his husband.

    Records showed that the OFW first sought the Vice President's help on December 31, 2014.

    "Hindi pa ako natulungan ni Vice President Binay," he said in a conversation with this reporter on Facebook.

    (The Vice President has not yet helped me.)

    On Monday, Binay tendered his resignation from the Cabinet of Aquino. But, surely, the Vice President has not quit his humanity and concern for his fellow Filipinos, particularly the less privileged, more so the suffering OFWs, fondly called "modern heroes" by the Philippine government.

    On the other hand, one can't stop thinking why no Filipino political and business leaders has taken noticed of the sad and deplorable condition of Urbiztondo as he continues to languish in his prison cell.

    Is it because it is not politically-gainful, or it is not part of business corporate social responsibility (CSR)?

    Surely, there some souls with a heart of gold who are just waiting for the right moment to help complete the remaining needed US$6,000 that will unlock the key to the OFW's prison cell and to his freedom.

    Urbiztondo started serving his sentence on July 16, 1996 for the death of a fellow migrant worker, Azizur Rahman, a Bangladeshi. The OFW said he did not do it.

    Fortunately now, a son and heir of Rahman has agreed to accept and give his family's forgiveness (tanazul) to Urbiztondo in exchange for US$26,000 "diyah" (blood money).

    Urbiztondo said the Filipino community in Kuwait, the Catholic Church, and other well-meaning persons have contributed or donated an amount that reached US$20,000 (around 6,000 Kuwait dinar).

    "I still need 1,862 Kuwait dinar (US$6,000, roughly 270,000 pesos) to complete the blood money," said the OFW, who about two decades already in prison, making him the longest serving OFW in Kuwait detention.

    He said any help can be sent to Consul General Raul Dado of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait City.

    Earlier, Dado has assured the money already collected for Urbiztondo is being kept safe and secure. "The Embassy has been working on this case non-stop after the accused had been convicted by the court," he said.

    In Islam, there is what is called "diyah" or "blood money" as payment to the murder victim's heirs if forgiveness is given to the offender convicted by court. Blood money serves as a way to save a life, even a convicted criminal's life. Otherwise, the murderer must pay with his own life.

    The Muslim Holy Book, Qur'an, has it clearly on Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2), Verse 178:

    "O you who believe! Al-Qisaas (the Law of Equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or relatives) of the killed against blood money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood money to the heir should be made in fairness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. So after this whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood money), he shall have a painful torment."

    Remember Sarah Balabagan, the underage Moro household helper who killed her employer Almas Muhammad Al-Baloushi in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in July 1994? She was in prison from 1994 to 1996.

    The Shari'ah Court in Al-Ain meted her a death sentence in 1995, but soon the heirs of Al-Baloushi forgave her and through the help of businessman William Gatchalian, who helped provide the US$40,000 blood money, Balabagan gained her freedom in 1996.

    Rogelio Dondon Lanuza of San Fernando City, Pampanga, is another OFW saved from death through payment of blood money in 2013 to the heirs of the Saudi Arabian national he killed.

    On behalf of Urbiztondo, the Philippine Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, had negotiated with the heirs of Rahman to lower the blood money they asked from the OFW.

    OFW Family Party-list Rep. Roy V. Seneres wrote Consul General Mohammad Noordin P. Lomondot in Dhaka, seeking his help with the heirs.

    Netizens have been wishing for his strength and freedom.

    Some of the comments and words of comfort on Urbiztondo's Facebook Wall:


    Rosaylen Buendia himingi kaya kay binay .baka sakali lang
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 19 at 10:22pm

    Lally Fontamillas Ferriol Sa mga kinauukulan sa pres?at vice pres.tulungan u naman po ang ating kababayan sa blood money na kakulangan para mabuo ang pera ,at makalaya na siya sa kulungan sa bansang kuwait in 19 yrs na nakakulong na hindi naman niya ginawa.naniniwala ako sa kan...See More
    Like · Reply · 3 · June 19 at 10:46pm

    Estrella Gallardo Tulungan po natin SI JOSEPH YUSUF URBIZTONDO upang makalaya na cya sa 19 na taong pagkakabilango na ngayon sa pamamagitan ng pantulong sa pagkakaloob ng tulong pinansyal upang malikom nya ang halagang pambayad ng blood money para sa knyang KALAYAAN
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 19 at 10:46pm

    Judge Jing kung may magawa lng sana aq about sa pera kabayan noon pa kita natulungan...tanging dasal lng maitulong q sau...na sana mapansin ka din ng GOBYERNO NATIN..barya lng sa kanila ang halagang yn..GODBLESS kabayan..sana makalaya kn..
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 19 at 11:39pm

    Estrella Gallardo Judge Jing malaking bagay na ang maipagdasal mo cya at hilinging mapansin cya ng Gobierno maraming salamat sa IYO God bless you!
    Like · Reply · 3 · June 19 at 11:57pm

    Rhaisa Guiaman Talusan Insaallah kuya....bsta wag ka lng mawawalan ng pag-asa.
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 20 at 12:02am

    Wazidu Ayman Abdulgani Insha allah mkalavas yn brod Joseph Yusuf Urbiztondo wag ka.mawalan ng pag asa...
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 20 at 12:55am

    آنجيلا بياتريس شيريل Sana aksiyonan na ng pamahalaan ng pilipinas to. Bakit pag ibang kaso gaya ng bibitayin ang bilis nila??

    Dasal pa tayu kuya wag mawalan ng pag asa. Malay mo pag ka tapos ng Ramadan palayain ka na.. habang may buhay may pag asa kuya. #
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