Pardoned OFW Lanuza returns to PH on Thursday
MANILA – Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza, the pardoned overseas Filipino worker who spent 13 years in prison in Saudi Arabia, will be arriving on Thursday, Vice President Jejomar Binay said.
"Gusto ko lamang ibalita sa inyo na bukas ng hapon, 'yung (kababayan natin na) matagal na nakakulong, who was sentenced to death in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is arriving. Siya si Dondon Lanuza," Binay said during an interview at the sidelines of the Regional Scouts Summit in Leyte.
Upon his arrival, Binay was told by Ambassador Ezzeding Tago that Lanuza will go straight to his home in Sampaloc, Manila.
Binay reiterated his appreciation to the government of Saudi Arabia, especially to King Abdullah, for shouldering SAR 2.3 million of Lanuza’s blood money.
"This is a rare instance where the king of Saudi Arabia contributed millions of pesos to save someone’s life," he said.
Saudi Arabia's highest court meted Lanuza the death sentence in 2001 for killing a Saudi national the year before. He earned a pardon after the victim’s family received, as they demanded, SAR 3 million or almost P35 million in blood money.
The Philippine government and supporters of Lanuza raised the equivalent of SAR 700,000. King Abdullah paid the remaining amount.
"We would like to again extend our thanks to the king of Saudi Arabia, to private groups, and to our Embassy for their effort," said Binay.