Saudi prince pledges 1-M Saudi Riyals for Zapanta blood money
MANILA, Philippines – A Saudi prince has pledged 1 million Saudi Riyals for the blood money of jailed overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joselito Zapanta, according to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“I hope that this amount, added to what the Philippine government has already raised, will be enough to spare Joselito’s life,” Binay said in a statement Tuesday.
Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz, nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, was just one among the many who donated money to raise the 4 million Saudi Riyal blood money needed to secure Zapanta’s freedom.
“There have been many people, especially among our own kababayans, who have expressed their intention to help. While they choose to remain anonymous, their kindness has gone a long way in raising the amount needed to save Zapanta,” Binay said.
Zapanta’s has been convicted and sentenced to death for killing his Sudanese landlord, Imam Ibrahim, in a dispute over rent back in 2009.
The family of Ibrahim initially demanded 5 million Saudi Riyal but it was lowered to 4 million. Negotiations are still ongoing to have the blood money lowered.
The deadline for the payment was originally set for November 12, 2012 but it was extended several times. A new one-month extension was recently given February.
Previously, Binay also announced that President Benigno Aquino III had donated a “substantial amount” for Zapanta’s blood money.
“Once again, I call on our kababayans to help in raising the needed blood money to save a fellow Filipino,” Binay said.
He said donations for Zapanta may be made to the Riyadh Philippine Embassy’s sub-account in the Saudi Hollandi Bank: Account Number 037-040-790-022, International Bank Account Number (IBAN): SA 61-5000-0000-0370-4079-0022, Swift Code: AAALSARI
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