Binay asks help in raising blood money

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Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday reiterated his appeal to the public to help raise the blood money for overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joselito Zapanta, who could be executed any time this month in Saudi Arabia.

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Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Ezzedin Tago informed Binay that Zapanta’s family needs to raise at least SAR 1.48 million (P17.5 million) to complete the SAR 2 million being renegotiated with the victim’s family.

“Once again, I ask everyone to help raise funds for Joselito. Let us start this year by helping save the life of a fellow Filipino and bringing joy to his family,” Binay 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.

Zapanta was meted the death penalty for killing Imam Ibrahim, a Sudanese national.

Ibrahim’s family demanded SAR 5 million for the execution of a tanazul or affidavit of forgiveness and prevent the imposition of the death penalty, but later reduced the amount to SAR 4 million.

The payment of the blood money was originally due on November 12, 2012, but was extended to March 12, 2013. A second extension was granted, with the deadline moved to November 3, 2013.

The Philippine government has so far raised around SAR 520,831.

Binay said he believes that if Zapanta can present a higher amount than what has been currently raised, Ibrahim’s family might reconsider and accept the offer.

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