OFW Who Killed Sudanese Landlord Executed in Saudi

By: InterAksyon.com
December 29, 2015 3:27 PM

(UPDATE 2 – 5:48 p.m.) MANILA – Joselito Zapanta, the overseas Filipino worker who killed his landlord in 2009 over rent disputes in Saudi Arabia, was executed this morning, former labor undersecretary and now senatorial candidate Susan Ople said.

Ople, who is in Pampanga with Zapanta’s mother Mona, received word from Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin Tago, who together with the Sudanese landlord’s widow witnessed the execution.

“Nanay Mona was still hopeful that Joselito would come home. When I told her that her son is gone, she cried and wailed and suddenly lost consciousness,” Ople said.

Nanay Mona was taken to the emergency room of the public hospital for medical treatment due to hypertension. Her blood pressure went up to 180/120 upon learning about the execution.

“Let us give the family some time to privately mourn while tending to the medical needs of Nanay Mona,” Ople said.

Zapanta’s mother she fainted upon learning of her son’s death.

The widow had asked for the equivalent of P48 million in blood money, but Zapanta’s family had raised only P23 million since 2009.


Earlier, Joselito’s mother Mona Zapanta, accompanied by Ople, who is president of the Blas Ople Policy Center, went to the Department of Foreign Affairs to ask for additional funds for the blood money. But the DFA turned her down.

Mona Zapanta tearfully pleaded, “Maawa kayo sa anak ko. Tulungan niyo siya. Sagipin niyo siya sa kamatayan (Have mercy on my son. Help him. Save him from death).”

Ople said, “Yung biyuda ay ayaw makipag-usap kina Nanay Mona hangga’t hindi kumpleto yung hinihinging (The widow does not want to talk to Mona unless she can come up with the) blood money.”

The landlord’s widow only gave the Zapanta family until December 27 to come up with the amount.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary and DFA spokesman Charles Jose had explained, “In the past, never pa nagamit ang national budget para sa ganitong purpose. Although sa DFA meron kaming dalawang funds, yung Assistance to Nationals Fund at saka yung Legal Assistance Fund, pero mga specific purposes ang paggamit nito. But in the past, marami ng cases before na nagbabayad ng blood money, pero lahat yon nanggaling sa private donors.”

(In the past, the national budget was used for this purpose. Although the DFA has two funds, the Assistance to Nationals Fund and the Legal Assistance Fund. these were used for specific purposes. There were many cases before where blood money was paid but these came from private donors.)

Upon learning of the dire development, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, who is aspiring for the presidency in the 2016 election, expressed his sympathies to the Zapanta family.

“The Office of the Vice President (OVP) worked closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and exhausted all diplomatic and legal efforts in order to save the life of Mr. Zapanta, including a personal written appeal to the King of Saudi Arabia,” Binay said in a statement.

In 2012, Binay wrote a personal letter to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud seeking a deferment of Zapanta’s death sentence.

The Philippine government, he noted further, was also in constant talks with the family of his victim and was able to secure several extensions for the payment of blood money.

Binay said he will work towards giving better protection and assistance to OFWs.

“Rest assured that a Binay administration will give priority to providing jobs for Filipinos here at home so that overseas employment becomes a matter of choice and not necessity,” he said.

“We shall also work for greater government protection and effective assistance for our fellow Filipinos abroad,” Binay added.

Zapanta’s execution brings to 153 the number of people put to death this year in the ultra-conservative kingdom, against 87 for all of 2014.

Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year is the highest for two decades, since 192 people were put to death in 1995.

The toll has rarely exceeded 90 annually in recent years, it said.

Saudi executions are usually carried out by beheading with a sword.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom, where the interior ministry says the death penalty is a deterrent to crime.

Amnesty says Saudi Arabia had the world’s third-highest number of executions last year, after China and Iran.

Under the kingdom’s strict Islamic legal code, murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death. (With a report from Agence France-Presse)


(Source: InterAksyon.com)

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker