MANILA – President Aquino has pledged a substantial amount to help augment the blood money needed to save Joselito Zapanta from execution in Saudi Arabia, Vice President Jejomar Binay said.
Binay, the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns, declined to reveal the amount pledged by Aquino as well as how much the government has so far raise.
"On our part, si Pangulo mismo, pumayag na magbigay nang medyo kalakihang halaga. Sa aming palagay, sobra na talaga ang laki," Binay said.
Zapanta was sentenced to death for killing a Sudanese national.
The victim's family initially demanded SAR 5 million in exchange for a tanazul or affidavit of forgiveness and to prevent the imposition of the death penalty. However they later agreed to reduce the amount to SAR 4 million (P48 million).
"Magpu-pursige pa rin tayo na magkaroon nang compromise," he added.
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.
"Panalangin natin baka sakaling may pamamaraan pang magkasundo. Kasi, 'yong pamilya, ang gusto ay buong halaga," 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