VICE President Jejomar Binay debunked allegations that he is just politicking in saving overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joselito Zapanta from the death row.
“It is my responsibility to care for the welfare of our OFWs. There is no politics here.
This is my duty,” said Binay, who is also the Presidential adviser on OFWs Concerns.
Binay said that he remains committed in helping raise the blood money for Zapanta regardless of the latter’s sentiments.
“Our government will do its utmost to save him [Zapanta] from execution,” he added.
Zapanta, in death row in Saudi Arabia for killing a Sudanese, recently expressed disappointment over alleged erroneous reports that an emir would help him raise his blood money.
In February, Binay revealed that Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz, nephew of Saudi King Abdullah and emir of the Riyadh region, is believed to have pledged one million riyals for Zapanta.
Binay clarified that it was the embassy that informed him about the pledge and that “Zapanta had no knowledge about it.”
Binay reiterated his call for help in raising the needed amount for Zapanta’s blood money.
“I ask our fellow Filipinos again to help us. Although President Noynoy [Aquino] has already given us a substantial amount, the money raised still does not meet the demand of the victim’s family,” he said.
The victim’s family initially asked for five million riyals 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 four million.
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.