MANILA - The family of beheaded overseas Filipino worker Carlito Lana received P15,000 cash donated by families of OFWs.
The money was handed over to Lana's mother, Susana, at the Happy OFW Christmas party held last Tuesday at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City.
"Rather than spend time speculating about what really happened between Carlito and his Saudi employer, the families present in our Christmas event decided to dig into their pockets and help out Mrs. Lana and Carlito's three children," said Susan Ople, head of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center.
Ople said a former OFW from Saudi Arabia who is very active in pro-OFW issues donated the biggest amount at P5,000.
Lana was beheaded on December 12 in Saudi Arabia for killing his employer and running him over with a car.
Mrs. Lana thanked the government for helping Carlito when he was in jail and also expressed her gratitude to fellow OFWs and their families for their generosity.
The beheading of the OFW prompted other families of Filipinos on death row to seek government's assistance.
One of those who approached the Ople Center to convey such a request is the sister of Joselito Zapanta, an OFW who has been convicted by the Saudi court of killing his Sudanese landlord.
His sister, Rosemay Zapanta, said that she and her mother would like to visit Zapanta in prison while they still can, given his mother's age and the silence on the part of the aggrieved Sudanese family on the blood money raised for the commutation of his sentence.
"According to Zapanta's sister, her mother would like to see him and convey the family's love for him and they can only do this with the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh," Ople said.
In a different case, the family of OFW Jonard Langamin also sought the government's help to ensure his freedom and repatriation after the aggrieved party accepted the latter's plea for forgiveness.
Langamin fatally stabbed fellow Filipino seafarer Robertson Mendoza in an altercation in May 2008, a crime that he immediately confessed to and was later convicted for.
Unlike in Zapanta's case, the aggrieved family has conveyed their willingness to forgive Langamin, and has been cooperating with the Saudi court and the Department of Foreign Affairs so that the convicted OFW would be spared from execution.