Doomed Filipino gets 4-month reprieve in Saudi


Protesters display placards during a rally near Malacañang Tuesday to call on the government to intercede to stay the scheduled execution of convicted overseas Filipino worker Joselito Zapanta and all other OFWs in death row in the Middle East. AP

The government of Saudi Arabia has stayed the execution of Filipino migrant worker Joselito Zapanta by four more months, giving his family more time to raise blood money to settle with the family of his Sudanese victim.

Vice President Jejomar Binay said Wednesday that Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud heeded his appeal for the deferment of Zapanta’s execution, originally scheduled Nov. 14 and initially extended by a month.

“The very good news is that the execution was stayed. He was given a deferment of four months,” said Binay.

He said the stay was “supposed to be nonextendable and nonnegotiable,” the official said.

Binay said the family of Saleh Imam Ibrahim, the Sudanese national that Zapanta killed over a dispute on rent payment, also agreed to reduce the blood money from 5 million Saudi Riyal (roughly P55 million) to 4 million Saudi Riyal (P44 million).

The Vice President had appealed to the Saudi King to extend the stay on Zapanta’s execution and blood money settlement saying his family in Mexico, Pampanga was very poor.

Binay appealed to Filipinos and the private sector to raise funds for Zapanta’s blood money.

He also commended the Philippine Embassy for keeping close watch on the Filipino’s case.

“Up to the last minute, they did not stop looking for ways to extend the deadline.  We want to change the notion that the government did not do anything, especially the Embassy,” Binay said.

Another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on death row, Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza is also feverishly trying to raise 3 million riyal (about P33 million) in blood money  to escape his own execution. Lanuza was convicted of killing a Saudi national but he said it happened in self defense. An earlier statement from the Embassy said the family of the Saudi victim also expressed willingness to forgive Lanuza if he could raise the money.

It was reported that in the Middle East, at least 27 OFWs, including four women, are facing the death penalty.

Originally posted: 3:00 pm | Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • OFWReader

    A lot of money will be wasted for a trash.

    Why not use it to save the others who are in bahay-kalinga. Bring them home! Mas deserving sila.

    Bobo talaga itong si Binay. Eepal na lang, palpak pa!


    chop off his head!! execute that guy he has no place here our country even if his filipino he is not worthy to bring back here!!

  • CyberPinoy

    Pinoy ako pero para pumatay ka dahil sa RENT at alam mong nasa abroad ka parang mali yata mag raised ng pera at sumali sa protesta para lang sa tanong ganito.  Pasensya na pero kahit ano pang totoong nangyari dapat kinontrol nya sarile nya dahil walang kwenta lang ang pinagtataluhan at bukod pa dun pag nasa ibang bansa ka dapat ay makibagay ka sa kultura nila hindi sila ang makikibagay sayo.

    opinion lang po, im OFW from Singapore.

  • OFWReader

    A lot of our compatriots here in Riyadh, specially in Batha, knows this guy. You won’t hear a single word that would praise or defend his reason. Most of them are wondering why he is still alive?

    Let us test the logic of these people who want to save him.

    If Zapanta’s claims are true that he don’t have intention to murder the victim, then why did he steal the money and mobile phone of the victim?

    In addition, just for everybody’s info. Zapanta is a heavy gambler. It is a fact.

  • Darwin

    Ayan Binay, magpapogi ka. Lbas ka ng 44M, at 33M na din para dun sa isa pa.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos