Blood money for Dondon deposited in Saudi bank account

By Raffy A. Beltran, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Feb 18 2013 10:25 AM | Updated as of Feb 19 2013 03:45 AM

DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia - After the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Manila announced that the remaining balance of the blood money of Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza will be paid by the Saudi Government, the group of Fil-Am businesswoman Loida Nicolas-Lewis, immediately sent all the donations they have collected to a bank account in Saudi Arabia.

The press release stated that the Saudi government will pay for 2.3 Million Saudi Riyals or almost P26 million, the balance of the 3 Million Saudi Riyal (P33.4 M) blood money.

The group of Lewis actively campaigned to collect donations from the Philippines, the United States and all over the world, for the blood money to save the life of Lanuza.

The group was able to raise $121,313 equivalent to more than 400,000 Saudi Arabian Riyals or almost P5 million.

The amount was sent to a bank account in Al-Rajhi Bank in Dammam, specifically opened by and managed by the office of the Emir (Governor) of the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia.

The said amount came from four separate bank accounts in Manila and New York.

Of the amount, $36,030 came from the account of former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Antonio Villamor and $46,459 from the account of Letty Lanuza, Dondon’s Mother.

Another $19,116 and $19, 607 came from Lewis’ bank accounts in Manila and New York, respectively.

Aside from the donations, the Philippine government is expected to soon send to the Saudi Bank account $ 100,000, their share of the blood money.

“Secretary Albert del Rosario, when I talked to him last 2011, he said that the policy of the government is not to give for blood money, no more than one hundred thousand dollars,” Lewis told ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau.

As a policy, the Philippine Government can only give $100,000 for blood money of a Filipino citizen on death row.

In a text message to ABS-CBN Middle East, Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin Tago said the embassy has already sent their request to the Saudi Reconciliation Committee for confirmation that all donations has been received by the Saudi bank account for the blood money.

Once the Committee confirms that the full amount of the 3 Million Saudi Riyal blood money is complete, this will be submitted to the courts and the process for Lanuza’s release will start.