P55-M to save OFW on death row

An OFW will be executed in Saudi unless his family can raise P55-M in blood money

MANILA, Philippines – The Saudi Arabian government will impose the death penalty on an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) convicted for murder with robbery – unless his family can raise P55-M in blood money.

Vice President Jejomar Binay confirmed this Monday, November 12, and said the Philippine government has written a letter to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to defer the execution of OFW Joselito Zapanta.

Zapanta was convicted for killing a Sudanese national. 

Under Saudi’s laws or based on Islam, the punishment should be equivalent to the offense committed. The family of the victim wants Zapanta to pay P55-M, or 5-M in Saudi riyal, to be spared from death penalty.

“The deferment, which we seek on compassionate grounds, will allow the family of Mr Zapanta to raise the blood money of SR 5-M,” Binay said in a statement.

President Benigno Aquino III in October also appealed for Zapanta’s life. 

In an interview with reporters, Binay said the government has released an initial P4-M to save Zapanta. He added the Philippines has assisted Zapanta legally and financially since he was apprehended in 2009.

A source from the Department of Foreign Affairs said the government is not inclined to shoulder the entire P55-M. A government policy puts a certain cap on spending for blood money.

Zapanta’s family will fly to Saudi on Tuesday, November 13, to appeal the convict’s sentence. – Rappler.com 

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