Latest Stories

Saudi gov’t pays balance of blood money for OFW on death row


MANILA, Philippines – After spending more than 11 years in jail, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on death row in Saudi Arabia will soon be a free man after the Saudi government decided to shoulder the unpaid balance of the blood money asked by the family he offended.

The announcement made by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia on Thursday noted that its government had made a directive for the payment of the balance of 2.3 million Saudi Riyals for handing over to the heirs of the victims of OFW Rodelio Celestino Lanuza.

“The Saudi Government, after the heirs of the victim waived their right, has paid the balance of the blood money,” the announcement said.

Lanuza, who worked as a draftsman in Saudi Arabia in 1996,  admitted to stabbing an Arab out of self-defense in June 2000.  He was sentenced in 2002 to death by beheading.

In February 2011, the Philippine government and the Saudi Reconciliation Committee in Dammam helped him secure forgiveness from the offended family. The family required a diyya or compensation worth P35 million.

Lanuza’s ordeal had also been the subject of the Facebook account “Help Save a Life, Help Save Dondon Lanuza from Death Row.” The OFWs running the Facebook page reported raising P10.6 million as of Jan. 10 through several bank accounts.

The embassy said that Lanuza’s mother had earlier filed an appeal for the Saudi Arabia government to pay the balance after she was able to raise 700,000 Saudi Riyals.

The embassy also said that the goodwill gesture was the result of the coordination and cooperation between the Saudi Embassy in Manila and the Office of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Binay is the presidential adviser on OFW affairs.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), meanwhile, welcomed the announcement and expressed gratitude for the Saudi government’s “humanitarian gesture.”

“This will pave the way for the issuance of an affidavit of forgiveness or tanazul in Mr. Lanuza’s favor,” Raul Hernandez, DFA spokesperson, said in a text message.

“We hope that as soon as all legal procedures are completed, Mr. Lanuza will finally be reunited with his family.” he added.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Features , Global Nation , ofws , Saudi Arabia

  • http://pedestrianobserver.blogspot.com/ Political Jaywalker

    At last we may now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully this pushes through without a snag so Dondon Lanuza can resume his life and be a productive member of society once again………

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EISVG3E73H2NYEBBJI2TKYHRUY Common Sense

    Pagpugay kay Dondon Celestino Lanuza !

  • Paliwaweng

    welcome home to the Philippines Dondon, as soon as possible.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JY2GQCA7A6MPO5EV7RHF7HUQ2Q Kugutsumen

    okey na sana ung news kaya lng may epal na kasama 

    “The embassy also said that the goodwill gesture was the result of the coordination and cooperation between the Saudi Embassy in Manila and the Office of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Binay is the presidential adviser on OFW affairs”

    cguro premature campaign to ni Binay

  • redkinoko


Copyright © 2014, .
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


  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Pope’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Marketplace