Philippines thanks Saudi Arabia for its donation to spare life of OFW from execution-A A +A
Friday, February 1, 2013
MANILA -- The Philippine government welcomed Friday the recent announcement of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Manila regarding the Saudi government's donation of 2.3 million Saudi Riyals to save Rodelio Lanuza from execution.
"The government expresses gratitude to the Saudi government for the humanitarian gesture, which paves the way for the issuance of an affidavit of forgiveness (tanazul) in Mr. Lanuza's favor," Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said.
He lauded the unwavering efforts of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is also the Presidential Adviser for overseas Filipino workers' (OFW) concerns, in generating support for Lanuza's cause.
Lanuza's new lease on life is, moreover, due in no small part to the invaluable contribution and dedication of Loida Nicolas-Lewis, the person who led the private sector's fundraising efforts, Del Rosario added.
He also gave credit to the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh led by Ambassador Ezzedin Tago for assisting Lanuza throughout his incarceration and to other kindhearted individuals who donated various amounts to save his life.
"This positive development is a result of the tireless effort and steadfast commitment of Filipinos working together. We hope that as soon as all legal procedures are completed, Mr. Lanuza will finally be reunited with his family," Del Rosario said.
With the blood money, Lanuza will be spared from death sentence. He has been languishing on death row for over a decade after he killed Mohammad bin Said Al-Qathani in self-defense in 2000.
Meanwhile, Tago said Lanuza only needs a release order from the Saudi court.
"Its just a process that we have to follow up in court and the authorities to ensure that the process is done quickly," he said.
Binay also expressed his gratitude to the king’s gesture of goodwill saying it has affirmed the "strong ties of friendship and brotherhood" between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (SDR/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)