After 13 years in Saudi jail, Lanuza finally back home

Posted at 09/19/13 4:45 PM

Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza  was finally reunited with his mother, Letty. Photo by Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Overseas Filipino worker Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza arrived safely back home, leaving behind his 13-year ordeal in Saudi Arabia.

Lanuza arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 3:30 p.m. on board an Etihad Airways flight from Saudi Arabia.

Lanuza was finally reunited with his parents, Letty and Eddie, whom he had not seen for 13 years.

Upon his arrival, he was taken to a VIP room to rest after experiencing dizziness.

Airport officials escorted his parents into the room where the reunion happened.

Lanuza still declined to be interviewed as he was not feeling so well and still had to adjust to the new environment, temperature and new surroundings.

Lanuza's ordeal began in 2000 when he killed a Saudi Arabian national out of self-defense. He was sentenced to death the following year.

In 2011, the victim's family initially demanded SAR 5 million before they agree to sign a letter of forgiveness. The blood money was later reduced to SAR 3 million.

Family, friends, and supporters, including Filipino-American Philantrophist, were able to collect $121,000 or about SAR 450,000.

Early this year, His Royal Highness King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud agreed to shoulder SAR 2.3 million while the Philippine government took care of the balance to complete the blood money. With report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News