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More help for OFW sought

Manila, Philippines – Malacañang continued its appeal for donations from the public to save the life of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Joselito Zapanta who could be executed anytime this month in Saudi Arabia.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government has already extended its share in the four million Saudi rials blood money being demanded by the heirs of Zapanta’s victim.

“On the part of the government, we have already extended assistance,” Valte said, apparently referring to the P4 million standard amount allotted for blood money cases.

However, Valte said the government continues its appeal for Filipinos to help save the life of their compatriot.

“We continue to appeal also for donations to make up for the amount that has yet to be raised,” Valte said in an interview with government radio dzRB.

Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Ezzedin Tago earlier said Zapanta’s family needs to raise at least SAR 1.48 million (P17.5 million) to complete the two million Saudi rials being renegotiated with the victim’s family.

Donations for Zapanta may be made to the Philippine Embassy on Riyadh’s sub-account in the Saudi Hollandi Bank Account No. 037-040-790-022; International Bank Account Number (IBAN) SA 61-5000-0000-0370-4079-0022, Swift Code: AAALSARI. Zapanta is currently on Death Row in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for killing Imam Ibrahim, a Sudanese.

Ibrahim’s family demanded five million Saudi rials for the execution of a tanazul or affidavit of forgiveness and prevent the imposition of the death penalty, but later reduced the amount to four million Saudi rials. (JC Bello Ruiz)