Ranara murder: Kin seeks death penalty; 15-year term lenient
MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino worker Jullebee Ranara’s gruesome death would only be given justice if her killer was sentenced to life in prison, her relative said on Friday.
But while the development is welcomed, Reyes admitted that the jail sentence is insufficient.
“Masaya kami at the same time medyo malungkot po. Ang bilis ng aksyon nila, unlike other [cases] abroad na [inabot na] ng one year wala pang [progress]. Pero ine-expect po kasi namin na medyo magiging mataas ang penalty. Medyo hindi po namin maintindihan kung bakit ganon,” Reyes told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
(We are happy but a little sad at the same time. Unlike in other cases abroad that have taken years, they acted so fast, and yet no progress was made. But we are expecting higher penalties. We don’t quite understand what happened.)
Ranara’s 17-year-old killer and her employer’s son, Turki Ayed Al-Azmi, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for murder and one year for driving without a license.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the lesser penalties were due to the accused being a minor.
Reyes said their lawyers will still verify if their family can issue a motion of appeal and request a higher penalty against Al-Azmi.
Asked if he would favor a death penalty sentence given to his sister’s killer, Reyes immediately said yes.
“Masamang humiling [ng masama] sa kapwa, pero kailangan mong harapin ang ginawa mo,” said Reyes.
(It’s bad to wish something bad happens to others, but you must face what you’ve done.)
But Reyes said that some say that the death penalty sentence wouldn’t be given to Al-Azmi because he is still a minor. He added that this is why they are pushing for life in prison.
Thirty-five-year-old Ranara was murdered by Al-Azmi in Kuwait. Her body was burned and buried in the desert on January 21, 2023.
Autopsy reports likewise showed that she was pregnant at the time of her killing.