MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is exerting all efforts to push back the deadline for the blood money payment of overseas Filipino worker Joselito Zapanta, which ends Tuesday, March 12, Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Monday.
Binay, who is the presidential adviser for OFW concerns, said Philippine embassy officials in Jeddah have made appeals to Saudi authorities and to the family of the Sudanese national who was killed by Zapanta in 2009.
“In the past months, our embassy continues to look for ways to extend the deadline for paying the blood money and possibly to lower the amount,” Binay said during a press conference at the Coconut Palace.
He said he cannot divulge the steps they are taking as these are sensitive matter but he assured that the government is exhausting all possibilities to save Zapanta.
Binay also asked for prayers for Zapanta and his family, who left Saturday for Saudi Arabia.
Zapanta was given a reprieve of four months in November last year to raise the blood money.
The victim’s family also agreed to reduce his blood money from P55 million to P44 million after meeting with Saudi officials in Riyadh.
Both President Benigno Aquino III and Binay also appealed to Saudi King Abdullah for his intervention.
The Vice President has been asking the public to help raise funds for Zapanta in recent months.