MANILA (Mabuhay) – An overseas Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia could be executed this month if his family and the Philippine government fail to raise the P17.5-million needed to save him.
Philippine ambassador to Saudi Ezzedin Tago reported that the government has so far raised 520,831 Saudi riyal (around P6.1 million) to spare the life of OFW Joselito Zapanta, who was sentenced to death in 2009 for killing his Sudanese landlord allegedly out of self-defense.
The amount is still SAR 1.48 million (P17.5 million) short to complete the SAR 2 million being renegotiated with the victim’s family.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, presidential adviser on OFW concerns, once again appealed to Filipinos to help raise Zapanta’s blood money.
“Once again, I ask everyone to help raise funds for Joselito. Let us start this year by helping save the life of a fellow Filipino and bringing joy to his family,” Binay said in a statement.
The vice-president said the victim’s family might reconsider and accept the offer if the Philippine government manages to present a higher amount for the blood money.
The payment of the blood money was originally due on November 12, 2012, but was extended to March 12 last year. A second extension was granted, with the deadline already lapsing last November 3.
Donations for Zapanta’s blood money may be made out to the Riyadh Philippine Embassy’s sub-account in the Saudi Hollandi Bank: Account Number 037-040-790-022 International Bank Account Number (IBAN): SA 61-5000-0000-0370-4079-0022 Swift Code: AAALSARI. (MNS)