Another OFW on Saudi death row needs help

By Maria Aleta Nieva-Nishimori,

Posted at Feb 01 2013 01:00 PM | Updated as of Feb 01 2013 09:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Another Filipino overseas worker on death row in Saudi Arabia needs immediate help as the four-month deferment on his execution will end next month.

OFW Joselito Zapanta of Mexico, Pampanga was jailed in 2009 and was convicted for the murder of a Sudanese national.

“Baka pwede hong pagtulung-tulungan natin yung kaso ni Zapanta,” appealed Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Zapanta’s death sentence was supposed to be carried out last November 14, 2012.

Fortunately, the victim’s family agreed to extend the deadline to four months or until March 14 to be able to raise the needed blood money to spare the OFW from execution.

The extension of the deadline was also due to the help of Sudanese embassy officials in Riyadh, as well as representatives of the Saudi King, who interceded on Zapanta’s behalf.

“Mas immediate itong kay Zapanta,” said Binay.

The victim’s family also reduced the amount of blood money they asked for from Zapanta.

“Ang hinihingi doon initially was P44 million and the family agreed to reduce it to P33 million and so far, ang perang na-raise almost P5 million,” said Binay.

The Vice President who is also the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns said the family still needs to raise around P23 million to complete the blood money.

“And so far, ang perang nare-raise ay yung binigay ng gubyerno na almost P5 million. Merong civic sector nagbigay ng P2 million. Taga Pampanga kasi ito, si Gov. [Lilia] Pineda magbibigay ng tulong I think aabutin ng something like P2.8 to P3 million,” said Binay.