The long wait is over for the longest serving Filipino inmate.
Joseph Urbiztondo will be going home to the Philippines soon after getting an Amiri pardon, confirmed Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro O. Villa, who visited Urbiztondo on Tuesday at the ‘Talha’ or Kuwait Deportation Center.
Urbiztondo has been in the Kuwait Central Jail for 20 years now after being sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a Bangladeshi national.
“Pinapatawad na siya at pwede na siyang makauwi dahil nasumite na natin ang tanazul o letter of forgiveness from the family of the victim [He has been forgiven and now he can come home after we’ve submitted the letter of forgiveness from the victim’s family],” said Villa.
Villa said Urbiztondo is elated because he will soon be set free.
“Talagang tuwang-tuwa siya, nag-uumapaw sa tuwa dahil pagkaraan ng beinte anyos, makakalaya na siya,” added Villa.
Urbiztondo was transferred from the Kuwait Central Jail to the Kuwait Deportation Centre on Monday. His release came after paying dia (blood money) and securing a tanazul (letter of forgiveness) from the son of the victim in Dhaka, Bangladesh in September last year and eventually, an Amiri pardon was granted to him.
“Ayon doon sa Colonel na nakausap namin na namamahala nong detention ay kinakailangan lamang na maisyuhan siya natin ng travel document at maayos natin iyong ticket dahil kung hihintayin pa natin ang ticket mula sa Ministry of Interior mas magiging matagal kaya aking pakikiusapan ang DFA na tayo lamang, ang gobyerno na lang natin ang mag provide ng ticket at aking pasasamahin si Consul General Raul Dado sa pag-uwi ni Joseph,” stated Villa.
He thanked the Amir of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for granting pardon to Urbiztondo.
Urbiztondo, 45, a native of Bacoor, Cavite in the Philippines was arrested by authorities on July 6, 1996 for killing a Bangladeshi national. He was later sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
He extended his sincerest gratitude to the Amir of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for his kindness and compassion.