Lanuza's exit visa stamped

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

Posted at Sep 17 2013 11:18 PM | Updated as of Sep 18 2013 09:07 PM

AL-KHOBAR, SAUDI ARABIA - The Jawasat, or the Passport Department of Saudi Arabia, stamped the exit visa of Rodelio "Dondon" Celestino Lanuza on his passport on Tuesday.

Lanuza and the Assistance to Nationals Section Officers of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh confirmed this.

It means Lanuza will fly home any time soon, ending his 13-year-ordeal so he can be with his family.

Edilberto and Letty Lanuza, Dondon's parents, are in Manila.

They flew in from the United States to attend the funeral of Dondon's uncle Caloy Celestino, who passed away recently.

It will be the first time they will see Dondon after more than 13 years.

Lanuza has been in Jail since August 2000 and was sentenced to death in 2001 for killing a Saudi national.

He was pardoned by the victim's family by signing a tanazul, or letter of forgiveness, after receiving blood money amounting to 3 million riyals.

His Royal Highness King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud agreed pay 2.3 million riyals while the Philippine government and supporters of Dondon raised 700,000 riyals.