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VP BINAY- RELEASE OF PHL GOVT SHARE IN LANUZA BLOOD MONEY APPROVED
Posted: Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said the Philippine government’s share in the blood money for pardoned OFW Rodelio “Dondon“ Lanuza is intact and has been approved for release.
Binay took strong exception to claims made by a migrant workers’ group that the government’s share in Lanuza’s blood money is missing.
According to the Vice President, he has talked with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa who said the release of the blood money has been approved.
"The amount is there and being processed. I’ve talked with Executive Secretary Ochoa and he told me that the release (of the blood money) has already been approved,” Binay said.
King Abdullah had earlier agreed to shoulder the balance of the blood money for Lanuza, who faced the death sentence for killing a Saudi national.
Although he understands Lanuza’s eagerness to come home, the Vice President appealed for patience since there are legal and documentary processes that need to be completed.
“We assure Dondon that he will be reunited with his family. There are processes and requirements in the host country that need to be observed,” he said.
The Vice President also renewed his appeal to the public to help raise the blood money for another OFW, Joselito Zapanta, who faces the death penalty if his blood money is not paid by March 17.
"I am appealing to all Filipinos to donate any amount you can spare for Joselito’s life," said the Vice President, who serves as Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns.
"The March 17 deadline for paying the blood money is looming, and only a vigorous and compassionate campaign to raise the P44 million blood money can save him now," he added.
Binay also said that negotiations are ongoing to extend the deadline for the payment.
Zapanta was given a reprieve of four months in November last year to raise the blood money in exchange for the forgiveness of the kin of the Sudanese national whom he killed in 2009. Both President Aquino and Binay appealed to the Saudi King, even as foreign affairs officials held talks with government officials of Sudan as well as the victim’s family.
The Vice President has been asking the public to help raise funds for Zapanta in recent months.