Bureaucracy blamed for delay in release of 'blood money' for Dondon
MANILA, Philippines - Filipino-American businesswoman and philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis is blaming bureaucracy in the Philippines for the delay in the release of P2 million, representing the government's pledge for the "blood money" of Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza.
"We already sent all of the money which we have raised ---- $121,313. That's from everybody who have sent in money from $1 to $20 to $25,000 and we are now waiting for the government to give their counterpart," Lewis said.
Lewis took an active role in helping Lanuza's family raise funds for the "blood money". She sought help from Filipinos in the United States and around the world.
The money they collected was sent to a bank in Al-rajhi in Dammam, which was specifically opened and managed by the Office of the Emir of the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.
"Less than P2 million ang hinihingi (from the government). Right up to now, medyo nahihirapan pa sa bureaucracy lumabas yun P2 million," she said.
The royal embassy of Saudi Arabia in Manila earlier announced that its government will bear the remaining balance of Lanuza's blood money.
"Nakakamanhid kasi ito na ang taong naghihintay for 12 years, ito na ang pera ng hari ng Saudi Arabia. Bakit natagalan pang ilabas yung less than P2 million," Lewis said.
Lanuza is facing the death sentence for killing a Saudi national.