Binay, DFA thank Saudi king


Rodelio Celestino Lanuza. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on Friday expressed the Philippine government’s gratitude to Saudi King Abdullah for donating the P24.9-million balance for the “blood money” needed for the release of Filipino death convict Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza.

“I’m happy to relate that our compatriot has been saved from the execution. This is because of the kindness of King Abdullah,” Binay, concurrent presidential adviser of OFW affairs, said.

In a press conference at the Coconut Palace, the Vice President’s official residence, Binay said the government had been quietly working for the release of Lanuza, who was sentenced to death in 2000 in Damman, Saudi Arabia for killing a Saudi national. Lanuza claimed it was an act of self-defense.

The Vice President said the King’s gesture of goodwill “once again affirms the strong ties of friendship and brotherhood between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Saudi government’s “humanitarian gesture” would pave the way for the issuance of the affidavit of forgiveness (tanazul) in Lanuza’s favor, thus formally saving him from execution.

“This positive development is a result of the tireless effort and steadfast commitment of Filipinos working together. We hope that as soon as all legal procedures are completed, Mr. Lanuza will finally be reunited with his family,” Del Rosario said in a statement.

Del Rosario did not forget to thank Filipino-American philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis, the person who led the private sector’s fund-raising efforts for the blood money, and all kindhearted individuals from around the world who donated various amounts to save Lanuza.

Early last month, an encouraging twist in Lanuza’s campaign came when a bank account to accept donations for Lanuza was opened by the Emir of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Region. The region’s Emir was until recently Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz. The position was passed last January to Prince Saud Bin Naif Bin Abdul Aziz.

The opening of the Emir’s account, co-managed by the Saudi Reconciliation Committee in Dammam, paved the way for a public fund raising campaign in the Saudi Kingdom.

At the start of this year, however, Lewis and Lanuza’s mother counted just over 700,000 riyals, including pledges from the Philippine government.

On Thursday, the Saudi embassy in Manila announced that by virtue of a royal directive, the King had offered to pay the remaining balance.

Philippine ambassador to Riyadh Ezzedin Tago, who was with Binay at the Coconut Palace, said Lanuza only needed the Saudi court to order his release upon confirmation that the victim’s family had received the blood money.

In the past years, Lanuza had opened up to four Facebook accounts to plead for help in raising his blood money. In his post last week, he expressed worry that the suspension of his execution was approaching its second anniversary this month and the blood money was still incomplete.

The Vice President apologized for being elusive in the past year on the status of Lanuza’s case. He said that he had always asked checked on the status of Lanuza’s case in all his previous visits to Saudi Arabia.

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  • Sensitive

    Nagmuslim ba si Lanuza?

  • Edgardo Mendoza


    • Emilio

      Yan ung pinaka mabait na naging Hari ng saudi arabia kaya suwerte siya :)

      kung si pahad pa ang hari sigurado panunuurin namin siya pano mapugot ang ulo niya >.<

  • Edgardo Mendoza

    yan madadala kana pag bumalik ka ng pinas dun ka naman pumatay! wala bitay sa pinas baby criminal pakain libre pa sa kuryente susyal pa may security guard pa!

    • ManangOsang

      Another Chinese Troll! !

      • Edgardo Mendoza

        mercy to the criminal stupid goverment of the philippines kaya mag hirap ang mga pilipino isang tambak kayo bobo yan pera na yan ipinag pagawa ng bahay ng iskuwater baka may negosyo pa ano mapapala mo sa isang criminal binigyan lang kayo niyan ng sakit ng ulo ka suwerte naman ng nabigyan ng blood money buhay hari isang tambak na unggoy ang mga ito wala mga utak nasa paa

      • ManangOsang

        Amen. Add + 50 cents. Filipino-Chinese Troll.

      • To_Be_Continued

        youare sofullofshit

      • andrewassme

        what the hell is a chinese troll?

      • Edgardo Mendoza

        eh ano ngayon kung chinoy ako ha! kaya di umasenso pinas baby ninyo criminal di ba kayo naaalarma sunod sunod patayan mabuti pa si marcos  nadisiplina niya ang mga pinoy dahil sunod sunod din ang firing squad sa mga criminal di yung baby ninyo criminal pag uwi pa niyan sa pinas sikat pa yan mamatay tao nayan may pulitiko pa makikinabang wala kayo pag asa! baka maging artista pa yan mga engot na pinoy ay pinoy din pla ako! ewan ko sa inyo mga engot

      • To_Be_Continued

        another mindless post

  • Edgardo Mendoza

    very kind saudi king 

    • ManangOsang

      Updated sub-Total=$2.00 or 80 pesos. Fil-Chi Troll.

    • kanoy

       estupido PHILIPPINES-Proud owners of another convicted murderer another fine example of ”Pinoy pride”

      • To_Be_Continued

        another stupid post

      • kanoy


      • kanoy

         the USA does not coddle, want or weep and pay blood money for murderers, we KILL them!!

        The CIA used a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia to launch the September
        2011 strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a high-profile American member
        of al Qaeda

  • batangsulpok

    Kaya maraming Pilipino ang hindi nagbabago pag napunta sa ibang bansa dahil kinokonsente ng gobyerno o mga kababayan natin ang kanilang ugali, tulad nito, murder at nahatulan ng bitay, nakakasiguro ba sila na pag bumalik sa Pilipinas ito ay di papatay uli kasi ang nasa isip ay puwedeng bayaran?

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