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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 January 2021

Filipino man faces death penalty after murder verdict upheld by Abu Dhabi court

Rolando B stabbed a man to death and injured another during a fracas in Abu Dhabi

A Filipino florist who killed a man and injured another after claiming they snatched his baby son has been sentenced to death by Abu Dhabi's highest court.

Rolando B repeatedly stabbed the two victims after a violent altercation was sparked at the home of a neighbour on February 1, 2015, court records stated.

He was subsequently found guilty of murder by Abu Dhabi Criminal Court.

The court imposed a death sentence, with the verdict upheld by the emirate's Supreme Court last week.

Rolando, now 37, had told prosecutors that his neighbour, a Filipina, invited him with his seven-month-old baby to her flat in the capital.

He said the woman's boyfriend and two other men arrived at the property and attacked him, before taking his child.

He then went to his apartment and fetched the knife used to stab two of the attackers.

Rolando said he stabbed the two men, but did not intend to kill either of them.

“There were three people, after they beat me they took my baby from me,” he told the court back in 2015.

Rolando's wife Gladys, who asked for her family's surname not to be used, said her husband told her he only used the weapon to defend himself.

The 32-year-old sales executive said she was at work when the incident occurred but Rolando had shared with her his account of the events.

“After the fight the baby was nowhere to be seen,” she said.

“They were banging on the door and my husband was alone and as self-defence he took a knife. According to him there was a knife with the other men too.

“The baby was found by one of my relatives in the lift with the third man.

“I don’t know where he was taking him, but my relative took him away.”

Their son Gabriel, now six, lives with his grandmother in the Philippines.

Gladys told of her shock at the decision of the court to uphold the death sentence.

“We thought he would be spared because he did it in self-defence,” she said.

She has not given up hope of her husband winning a reprieve after spending several years behind bars.

“We are trying everything we can to grant him a pardoning,” she said.

“I have a meeting with the Philippines embassy to see what we can do.”

Supporters have set up a Facebook group to plead for Rolando's life.

Updated: January 13, 2021 04:27 PM

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