Press Release
March 12, 2013


Senator Chiz Escudero is backing efforts to seek an extension of the Saudi Arabian government deadline which falls today for the payment of the P44 million blood money to save overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joselito Zapanta from execution.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said that saving the life of one Filipino should involve the combined efforts of all Filipinos of whatever persuasion or political leaning.

"I am enjoining the public to heed the government's call for prayers and active contribution to raise the P44 million blood money for the liberty of Zapanta," Escudero said.

He made the appeal after the government said it was having difficulty in raising the substantial amount despite the two previous extensions granted by the Saudi government and the family of the Sudanese killed by Zapanta in 2009.

The government has also been negotiating for the reduction of the blood money aside from negotiations for the extension of the payment deadline.

Escudero also stressed the need for a long-term solution that would make working abroad a career choice and not a livelihood necessity for Filipinos.

The Aquino administration's efforts to raise the number and quality of available jobs should continue in line with President Benigno Aquino III's goal of inclusive growth, according to Escudero.

"The Aquino administration had taken the correct step in giving priority to eradicating corruption in government to improve the image of the country for investors," he said.

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