The Straits Times
Published on Nov 14, 2012

Philippine man needs $1.3m to escape Saudi beheading


MANILA (AFP) - A Philippine worker condemned to death in Saudi Arabia for murder has won a four-month reprieve to raise four million riyals (S$1.3 million) and avoid execution by beheading, officials said on Wednesday.

Saudi authorities approved the stay after formal appeals by President Benigno Aquino and Vice-President Jejomar Binay to stop the scheduled Nov 14 judicial execution of the condemned construction worker Joselito Zapanta.

The Philippine government is now trying to help the family raise the "blood money" that must be paid to the Sudanese victim's relatives so that the death sentence is commuted, foreign department spokesman Raul Hernandez said.

"The family has been given four months to raise four million riyals," he told reporters.