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    Posted February 5, 2014 by

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    Filipino faces death in Saudi Arabia

    PHILIPPINE Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday stepped into the case of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joselito Zapanta who is facing execution for killing a Sudanese national in Saudi Arabia.
    But Binay said he is still hopeful that Zapanta will be spared the death penalty as the the government is still negotiating with the family to further reduce the amount of blood money they were demanding.
    “There’s still a chance negotiations are still open. There are two more steps to be followed,” Binay, the presidential adviser on OFW concerns, said in a press statement.
    He added: “Let’s not alarm the public anymore. The paperwork is moving, there’s still a process to be followed.”
    Zapanta was meted the death sentence for killing Imam Ibrahim over a rental dispute in 2009.
    Binay said President Benigno Aquino III had already given a “substantial” amount to augment Zapanta’s blood money, but still does not reach the P40 million being demanded by the victim’s family.
    Ibrahim’s family demanded SAR 5 million for the execution of a 'tanazul' or affidavit of forgiveness and prevent the imposition of the death penalty, but later reduced the amount to SAR 4 million.
    Binay said the government is still negotiating with the family to further reduce the amount they were demanding.
    He also said they are still looking for people to help in raising the amount of blood money being demanded by the victim’s family.
    The payment of the blood money was originally due on November 12, 2012, but was extended to March 12, 2013. A second extension was granted, with the deadline moved to November 3, 2013.

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