• Binay fears OFW may be executed this month

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    OVERSEAS Filipino worker (OFW) Joselito Zapanta might be executed any time this month in Saudi Arabia, Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Thursday.

    Binay, the Presidential Assistant for OFWs Concerns, said the decision is due to Zapanta’s failure to pay the blood money being asked by the victim’s family.

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

    Binay said the Philippine government has so far raised around SAR 520,831.

    “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,” he stressed.

    Zapanta is in death row in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for killing Imam Ibrahim, a Sudanese national.

    Ibrahim’s family originally 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 vice president believes that if Zapanta can offer a higher amount, Ibrahim’s family may reconsider and accept the offer.

    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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