VICE President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday called on the public anew to pray for a Filipino, who faces execution in Saudi Arabia after November 3.
Binay also reiterated his appeal for help in raising the blood money that will secure the release of Joselito Zapanta, the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in death row.
“We are still hoping for a miracle. We are hoping that they could give us more time or lower the blood money,” said Binay, who is also the Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns.
Zapanta was sentenced to death for killing a Sudanese national in 2009.
His family needs to raise SAR 4 million or about P45 million, the amount of blood money demanded by the family of the victim.
The deadline for the settlement of the blood money is on November 3.
“So far, we have only raised SAR 520,831,” the Vice President said.
Binay said he remains hopeful that Zapanta’s life will be spared. He noted the case of Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza who recently returned home after 13 years of imprisonment in Saudi and escaping the death row.
The Philippine government and supporters of Lanuza raised only SAR 700,000 of his SAR 3 million or almost P35 million blood money. The king of Saudi shouldered the remaining amount.
The Saudi government had already extended twice the period of collecting Zapanta’s blood money.
The family of the victim had also agreed to lower the amount from SAR 5 million to SAR 4 million. RITCHIE A. HORARIO