MANILA—An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Saudi Arabia will be executed if he fails to pay a P48 million blood money within two weeks.
Joselito Zapanta, a former tile-setter is in death row for killing his Sudanese landlord after a heated argument in 2009.The family of the killed landlord originally asked for a P50 million blood money. It was later lowered to P48 million.
The Zapantas have raised P23 million and still need P25 million to save the life of their family member.
“Unfortunately, the Sudanese family has refused any amount lower than their demand of P48 million. This means that the Zapanta family needs to raise P25 million,” Susan Ople, president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center was quoted as saying in an Inquirer.net report.
The family of the condemned OFW sought the help of the Blas F. Ople Center so their appeals could reach anyone who can help on saving Joselito from execution.
“Joselito called me up yesterday (Wednesday) to seek help and gave permission for the family to make the necessary media rounds with the hope that good Samaritans would help them. The amount is so huge and the family is cash-strapped and extremely poor,” Ople said in the same report.
“We are talking about weeks here, hence the need for the family to go public in order to seek everyone’s help,” she was quoted as saying in a Philippine Star report.
Ezzedin Tago, Philippine ambassador to Riyadh has also recognized the urgency of Zapanta’s case, said Ople
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) public affairs committee have asked the public for prayers and donations for Zapanta. They have also called on the government to act on Zapanta’s case.
“We challenge our government officials to exhaust all possible remedies to stay the execution and possibly gain the freedom of our kababayan,” Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of CBCP public affairs committee was quoted as saying in a Philippine Star report.
Anyone who wish to help the Zapantas save Joselito from execution may donate money to the Philippine Embassy’s Saudi Hollandi Bank under account no. 037-040-790-022.