A MAN who claims he was set up by his cheating wife has finally walked free from detention after 18 months of “pure hell”.
Speaking exclusively to PLN, airline captain Peter Bjarnason, aged 60, said he was now planning legal action against his estranged wife Victoria, 47, and her alleged lover.
He claims that she plotted his arrest on trumped up charges with the help of her boyfriend, a senior figure in Cavite City government. PLN has been made aware of his identity, but is withholding his name for legal reasons.
Capt. Bjarnason said his nightmare began in June 2015, when he confronted his wife about her infidelity. The couple had been married for 20 years and had two grown-up children, Helgi, 18, and Thor, 19.
Soon after, he alleges, he was hit with several charges, two of which were Violence Against Women and Children, 7610 and 9262 — both of which can carry jail terms of up to 10 years.
“I have never hit or even spanked one of my children and I have never hit my wife once, and never would,” said Capt. Bjarnason, who has joint Canadian and New Zealand nationality. “I abhor violence of any kind.
“I was able to bail from these charges once my friends heard I was in custody. It took three months because my wife kept my incarceration a secret from my friends and family. She knew when they heard I could be bailed.”
The disease and sickness is unbelievable
Capt Bjarnason is still traumatised by his this first three months of custody at the BJMP jail in Cavite City: “The conditions were so terrible it’s difficult for me to relate them without breaking down,” he said. “I slept on a concrete floor in a cell measuring about four meters by six. We had one toilet bowl and a hose pipe for washing.
“No food was provided. Any food had to be brought in by friends and loved ones. I never had one person deliver me food. Fortunately my fellow prisoners fed me from their food.
“The disease and sickness is unbelievable. I was fortunate to be bailed while still alive.”
However, despite being bailed, Capt. Bjarnason’s nightmare wasn’t over. In October 2015, we reported (here) that he was one of four overstaying foreigners arrested by the Bureau of Immigration under the “Sa Immigration Magsumbong” scheme, which offered 2,000 peso rewards to informants.
He was then transferred to an immigration detention centre in Manila. “I was less than six months overstay when I was arrested, but this had been the norm for me for more than 15 years. I simply pay my overstay fine at the airport when I am flying back to work,” he said.
Capt. Bjarnason was finally deported to New Zealand on November 7.
He said that although he plans to take legal action against his wife and her alleged lover, he harbours no ill-feeling towards the Philippines as a whole. “I still hold the Philippines and the Philippine people in high regard. I cannot allow the actions of a few colour my perceptions of the whole.”