Binay renews appeal for P44M for OFW on Saudi death row

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Vice President Jejomar Binay. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Vice President Jejomar Binay has renewed his appeal to Filipinos to help raise P44 million and save the life of Joselito Zapanta, an overseas worker facing execution in Saudi Arabia for the killing of his landlord.

The amount of the blood money was lowered from P55 million by the family on representations made by the Philippine government, Binay, the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ concerns, said.

Zapanta will be executed on March 14 if the money is not paid.

“I write on behalf of a family that is facing the biggest challenge of their lives–to raise P44 million in four months to save their loved one from execution in Saudi Arabia,” said Binay in a letter he sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He said that Zapanta, a 33-year-old tile setter who went abroad to work in 2007, had become “a changed man” in jail.

Zapanta was sentenced to death for the killing of his Sudanese landlord, Saleh Imam Ibrahim, in 2009 during an argument over the rent.

“Officers of the Philippine embassy and Department of Foreign Affairs who have met and spoken to Joselito attest that he is a changed man who has repeatedly sought the forgiveness of the aggrieved family and that of his own,” said Binay.

Originally set for Nov. 14 last year, Zapanta’s execution was deferred for a “nonextendable, nonnegotiable” four months after his victim’s family agreed to a stay and also reduced the amount of blood money.

Initially, the victim’s family asked for 5 million Saudi riyals (roughly P55 million) to spare Zapanta’s life but reduced this to 4 million riyals (P44 million) through “the government’s timely intercession,” said Binay.

“While we welcome the reduction and the additional time within which to raise the money, we must admit it is still a substantial amount,” he said.

Donations from private individuals have trickled in, with one donor giving P1 million and around 400 OFW families chipping in a combined P7,900. The provincial government of Zapanta’s native Pampanga is also helping raise funds for him.

DFA figures showed that around 90 OFWs were in jails around the world facing death at the end of 2012. About 40 of them have since been spared from the death penalty and have had their sentences commuted to time.

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  • boybakal

    Binay renews appeal for P44M for OFW on Saudi death row…

    This goes to show that we are wrong about Binay’s wealth.
    Kung totoong may pera siya, tiyak Aabunahan muna niya yon blood money.
    Kaso wala.
    Good Job for Binay for trying to help.

    I hope there are Pinoys who have kind heart to donate kahit unti unti muna hanggang makaipon.
    Telethon dapat ang gawin ni Binay.
    For sure kahit piso piso lang tiyak makakarami kahit papaano.

  • duviz7533

    punta ka na lang sa saudi and take his place,baka makitam nila na african ka ipardon ka

  • duviz7533

    alam ba ninyo ang kantang ang mga maligno ay nag pasimula may naging binay at naging erap

  • victor1052

    Binay,there are many “changed” men in muntinlupa’s death row. Free them and you can get many votes. You are exactly the kind of twisted mind that the people should not have for a president the sake of future generations.

  • NAGMAMARUNONG

    libo libo ang binabayaran ng umaalis na ofw. saan at para kanino ba ‘yang pera na kinokolekta? puro kayo dilihensya.

  • omg11

    Bakit kailangan nating gumasta ng milyon milyon para sa mga OFW na gumagawa ng krimen? Gaano kahalaga ang buhay ng mga taong ito? Higit pa bang mahalaga kaysa sa mga pulubi sa pilipinas na namamatay sa gutom araw araw?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5STEU22AD7YRHQSB6RE56ZDSYA J

    Bakit sa taong bayan pa naghahanap ng pantubos itong si binay? Kung talagang serioso si binay si zapanta na makalusot sa bitay hindi na siya aappeal pa sa diaryo. Kuha niyo? 

    Sabihin na natin meron 230 senators at congressman. Kailangan ng 44M. Ang mga senators naangihan ng mahigit nga 200T hangang 1.6M. Lahat ng mga congressmen nabigyan ng 500T bonus. 
    Ngayon kailangan ng 44M so bawat senator at congressman magbigay lamang ng 191T mula sa kupit nila na pera ng bayan.

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