• Blood money donors save doomed OFW in Saudi Arabia

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    BLOOD money donations are pouring, every donor bidding to save an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from the Grim Reaper’s scythe, according to Vice President Jejomar Binay as he acknowledged the support extended by individuals who heeded the call for help in raising four million riyals in blood money.

    The amount can spare OFW Joselito Zapanta from the death penalty, he said.

    “There have been many people, especially among our own kababayan, 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.

    In an interview Friday on the program Aquino and Abunda Tonight, Binay also mentioned an emir who made a substantial contribution to the blood money being raised for Zapanta, who was given another one-month extension in raising the amount.

    The contributor, Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz, nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, is believed to have pledged SAR 1 million.

    “I hope that this amount, added to what the Philippine government has already raised, will be enough to spare Joselito’s life,” he added.
    Zapanta was sentenced to death after killing Imam Ibrahim, a Sudanese, over a rental dispute in 2009.

    After initially demanding SAR 5 million for the execution of an affidavit of forgiveness and prevent the imposition of the death penalty, the victim’s family lowered the amount to SAR 4 million.

    The payment was originally due on November 12, 2012, which was then extended to March 12, 2013. Another extension was granted, with the deadline moved to November 3, 2013. A three-month extension was given on November, with the new one-month extension being given this February.

    The Vice President said that the government is in ongoing talks with the victim’s family to further lower the amount of blood money.

    “Once again, I call on our kababayan to help in raising the needed blood money to save a fellow Filipino,” said Binay.

    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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