IN a bid to hasten the release from detention of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza, the Saudi government stepped into his case.
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday said that after the blood money was fully paid to the family of Lanuza’s victim, the Saudi government moved that the tanazul or the affidavit of forgiveness be signed immediately.
Migrante vice chair John Leonard Monterona, Lanuza’s spokesman earlier expressed concern about the delay of Lanuza’ release stemming from the non-completion of tanazul—one member of the victim’s heirs still need to sign it.
But Binay, Presidential Adviser on OFWs Concerns, assured the family of Lanuza that he will be freed once the process for his release has been observed.
He also asked Lanuza’s family for patience and said what is important is that he has been spared the death penalty.
The vice president even noted that another Filipino who was pardoned ahead of Lanuza is still awaiting the completion of the release process.
“I understand how Dondon and his family feel. I am asking for patience.
There is a process that we need to observe. The embassy has been consistently following up his papers but we need to respect their process,” Binay said.
Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago informed Binay that the Saudi Reconciliation Committee already notified the victim’s family to send a representative to sign the printed copy of the judgment.
The printed copy has an updated notation that the family has accepted the blood money and is no longer pursuing its earlier demand for qizas or beheading.
He also dispelled insinuations that the Philippine embassy in Riyadh is not exerting efforts to help fast track Lanuza’s release.
“Early this month, our embassy officials already met Director Ahmad Al Tuwaijri of the Emir’s Office in Dammam to inform him that there was already a court decision regarding the tanazul executed by the heirs of the victim in favor of Lanuza,” Binay said.
Director Tuwaijri informed the embassy officials that his office had already received a copy of the settlement of the private rights of the aspect of the case, he added.
Ritchie A. Horario