PH gov’t submits P7.6M to Saudi court to save OFW from death row

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Rodelio Celestino Lanuza

MANILA, Philippines—Jailed Filipino migrant worker Rodelio Lanuza is a step closer to freedom as the Philippine government has deposited to the Saudi court its 700,000 Saudi Riyals or P7.6 million contribution to the blood money for his release, Vice President Jejomar Binay said.

Binay, the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), said the amount completed funds for the blood payment as the Saudi government earlier vowed to shoulder 2.3 million Saudi Riyals (P25 million) of the total 3 million Saudi Riyals (P33 million) to spare Lanuza’s life.

“We have already deposited the amount through a tender to the Saudi government… That combines the amount from the government and contributions from the family and others… We are awaiting a hearing date where the court will issue an affidavit of release,” Binay said late Monday afternoon.

The Philippine government informed Lanuza of the development on Monday. He has been jailed in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade.

The Saudi government in January issued a royal directive for the payment of more than two-thirds of blood money that Lanuza has been ordered to pay the heirs of Mohammad bin Said Al-Qathani, the Saudi national he killed in self-defense in 2000.

According to Binay’s office, the Saudi side is expected to facilitate the deposit of the P25 million to a bank account opened for blood money donations. Per procedure, a check will then be handed over to Al-Qathani’s heirs.

They are then expected to issue a tanazul or affidavit of forgiveness in exchange for the payment. Proceedings for his release will then begin.

The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the Philippines earlier said the Saudi government made the “royal goodwill gesture” of covering bulk of Lanuza’s blood money following coordination with Binay.

Earlier this month, the Saudi government also granted a reprieve to Filipino death row convict Joselito Zapanta just as the deadline for his blood money payment lapsed.

On March 12, Saudi King Abdullah issued an order to “defer the execution of all qizas or death penalty cases” in his country for three months.

As Zapanta is covered by the reprieve, his execution is deferred until June 8, giving government and his family more time to raise in full the P44 million in blood money he must pay to the heirs of his Sudanese victim.

Zapanta was meted capital punishment for the 2009 slay of his Sudanese landlord due to an argument over rental payments.

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  • marienkind

    GAAAAH. Why is our tax money being sent to Saudi to pay for some idiot’s bail? That man is a murderer. Seriously, f*ck Binay for spending our money to earn papogi points.

    • $5699914

      I think this is not tax or government money. Rather those are money collected from contributions.

  • Marx Louis Wang

    Sa Middle East kapag wala kang bigote o balbas at may hitsura ka, ang tingin sa iyo babae, kaya iyan napagtripan siyang halayin. Di pa ito pinagsabihan si Rodelio ng bagay na ito? Marami doon ang hindi nakakapag-asawa dahil sa laki ng gastos para lang makapag-asawa kaya ang kaya nilang yariin ay ang mga dayuhan tulad ni Rodelio. Sa halip na kumita tayo ngayon tayo pa ang naghahagilap ng blood money. Hayyy buhay.

  • mamamia

    o baka tumakbo ka pang brgy captain nyan ha, mag pasalamat ka kay jejemon binay dahil nag papapogi ng husto yan dahil sa susunod na presidential election, kung di tatakbo yan ng pag ka presidente e matagal ng pugot ang ulo mo. hehe

  • John John

    A man is found guilty on the charge of murder under the law & can get scott-free as long as someone pays compensation to the family?
    What kind of laws are these?
    Can you put a value on a human life?
    So in theory a biilionaire can be a serial killer & still go scott-free as long as the compensation is good?

    • $5699914

      search diyya so you know the answer….

  • Hey_Dudes

    Is it any wonder why we have so many criminals in the country? Take this latest effort by this government. They pay blood money and this criminal returns home to do his crime someday. Government itself seems to coddle criminals what can one say?

  • Jack Bw

    So, what happened to his dickhead employer who withheld his salary for six months? His employer should have been fined a large amount for such practice. I mean what can the man do to pay his rent if his boss isn’t paying him his wages? Employers who are forcing foreign workers to slavery should be punished too.

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