CANCER-STRICKEN OFW DIES ON FLIGHT FROM SAUDI / DOOMED PINOY RESCUED FROM EXECUTION IN SAUDI
 

MANILA, FEBRUARY 11, 2013 (INQUIRER) An overseas Filipino worker suffering from cancer died on a flight from Saudi Arabia that landed in Manila Saturday afternoon, according to authorities at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The passenger was identified as Reynaldo Ofracio, 56, a resident of Marilao, Bulacan province, who was onboard Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SV-874 that reached Naia’s Terminal 1 around 2 p.m.

Ofracio’s wife Dorothy, who accompanied him on the flight, said her husband, who worked as an audiovisual supervisor at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah, had liver cancer.

“Ofracio complained of difficulty of breathing four hours prior to landing in Manila,” Jose Umandap, medical officer-on-duty, said in a report to the Manila International Airport Authority, the Naia state operator.

Umandap said Ofracio did not respond to emergency aid and died in his seat about three hours before the landing. The pilot offered to land the aircraft in the nearest airport but Santos’ wife declined, saying the flight to Manila should proceed.

The body was later brought to a temporary morgue at the airport’s ramp clinic, where Dr. Noel Ramirez of the Bureau of Quarantine at Naia cleared the release of the remains to the widow. Jerome Aning

EARLIER NEWS THIS MONTH

Saudi ‘blood money’ rescues doomed Filipino from execution By Tarra Quismundo Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:29 am | Friday, February 1st, 2013


Rodelio Celestino Lanuza

An overseas Filipino worker who has languished on death row in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade has been saved from execution with the Saudi government’s shouldering nearly P25 million in blood money for his victim’s family, the kingdom’s embassy in Manila said Thursday.

The embassy said the Saudi government paid 2.3 million riyals in blood money that Rodelio Celestino Lanuza was supposed to pay to the heirs of Mohammad bin Said Al-Qathani, whom the Filipino killed in self-defense in 2000.

The amount covered the balance of 3 million riyals (P32.54 million) left after Lanuza’s family paid an initial 700,000 riyals (P7.6 million).

Welcome gesture

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) welcomed the development and thanked the Saudi Arabian government for the “humanitarian gesture.”

“This will pave the way for the issuance of an affidavit of forgiveness, or tanazul, in Mr. Lanuza’s favor. We hope that as soon as all legal procedures are completed, Mr. Lanuza will finally be reunited with his family,” DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez said in a statement issued Thursday night.

The Saudi Arabian Embassy said Lanuza’s family had appealed for help to raise the remainder of the blood money.

It said the Saudi Arabian government made the “royal goodwill gesture” as a result of coordination with Vice President Jejomar Binay, the presidential adviser for migrant workers’ affairs.

Another one on death row

Binay is also working to raise P44 million to save Joselito Zapanta, another Filipino migrant worker facing execution in Saudi Arabia.

Zapanta was sentenced to death for killing his Sudanese landlord Saleh Imam Ibrahim in 2009 during an argument over rent.

It is feared that Zapanta’s execution will go through in March if he fails to raise the blood money.

At least 90 Filipinos are on death row around the world for various crimes, according to the DFA.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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