Saudi begins Dondon Lanuza's deportation proceedings
MANILA – The Saudi Arabian government has started deportation proceedings of jailed overseas Filipino worker Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza to the Philippines, Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a statement on Wednesday.
"I was informed by Ambassador Ezzedin Tago today, through Secretary [Albert] del Rosario, that the Dammam Reformatory Jail received on August 27 an advance copy of the order from the Emir of the Eastern Region regarding the release of Mr. Lanuza. Jail authorities have received the advance copy of the settlement of Mr. Lanuza’s case from the Dammam High Court,” said Binay.
Binay, also the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns, said Police Case Officer Ahmad Al Sharie of the Dammam Reformatory Jail endorsed Lanuza’s case to the travel section for deportation procedures.
“After receiving the documents, Mr. Al Sharie sent a memorandum to the Director of the Dammam Reformatory Jail on August 27 requesting approval for the fingerprinting (basamat) of Mr. Lanuza,” he said adding that the process is part of Lanuza's four-step deportation proceedings.
“First, upon approval by the Jail Director, Mr. Lanuza’s case file will be endorsed to the travel section for deportation procedures. Jawasat (Saudi Passport Office) authorities will then assign a basamat number for Dondon,” the Vice President explained.
“After Dondon’s fingerprints are taken, they will be sent to Jawasat and then to the Criminal Investigation Office (CIO) for clearance. Upon receipt of the clearance from the CIO, the exit visa will then be finally issued,” he added.
The entire deportation process could take two to three weeks to be completed, but case officers from the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh will go to Dammam Reformatory Jail to discuss with the Jail Director on how they can help in expediting Lanuza's exit visa.
“While waiting for the deportation process to be completed, the Riyadh Philippine Embassy, through Ambassador Tago, has already requested the Department of Foreign Affairs to purchase the ticket for Mr. Lanuza return flight to the Philippines,” said Binay.
Lanuza was convicted of killing an Arab national in 2000. Saudi Arabia's highest court affirmed Lanuza’s death penalty in 2001, but was pardoned after paying SAR 3 million in blood money to the victim’s family.
Of the SAR 3 million, SAR 700,000 was paid by the Philippine government and supporters of Lanuza, while Saudi King Abdullah shouldered the remaining SAR 2.3 million.
“I also want to assure the family of Mr. Lanuza that the government is doing everything in its power to expedite the release of Dondon. We all would like to see him home at the soonest possible time,” the Vice President added.