Binay blames Aquino for failing to act on blood money proposals
Vice President Jejomar Binay blamed President Benigno Aquino III for failing to act on his proposal to raise blood money that could have saved OFW Joselito Zapanta, who was executed for murder in Saudi Arabia.
In a statement on Tuesday, Binay, the presidential candidate of the opposition, said he was tasked in 2014 to head an inter-agency committee to draft guidelines for a policy on the payment of blood money.
But as early as 2012, Binay said he has submitted the guidelines to the President, who has yet to act upon it.
“As early as 2012, meron nang proposal na yung iba nga kapag may masamang pangyayari, iyong bahagi ng blood debt ay meron maging tulong yung pamahalaan. Eh wala, hindi inaaksyunan. Nakabinbin pa rin hanggang ngayon, iyong guidelines ba,” Binay said.
Binay said he was saddened by the execution of Zapanta, whose family only managed to raise P23 million of the P47.9-million blood money demanded by the family of the Sudanese national he killed in 2009.
Zapanta was executed on Dec. 29, 2015 for the murder with robbery of a Sudanese national in 2009. He was convicted in April 2010 and was executed after the family of the victim refused to execute on Affidavit of Forgiveness in exchange for blood money.
Binay said his office has done all efforts in talking with the consul and other Saudi officials when he was Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns. He resigned in June 2015 as he assumed the figure of the opposition.
Binay said he even wrote a letter to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud seeking for a deferment of the death sentence in 2012.
“Syempre, malungkot. Kasi sa simula’t simula, akala ko noon magagawan na ng paraan. Iyong consul (ng Sudan) katulong din natin na makiusap. Katunayan, iyong mga opisyales ng Saudi, naging katulong din natin,” Binay said.
“Kaya lang matigas iyong posisyon nung may maybahay. Iyon bang ang halagang sinasabi ay talagang hindi talaga magpapa-areglo,” he added.
Binay on Tuesday visited the family of Zapanta in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Binay vowed to help Zapanta’s surviving relatives look for livelihood opportunities.
“Syempre, nangangailangan sa kanyang livelihood. Pinagtutulungan namin na mapakiusapan yung mga nagdonate, kasi nakalikom naman ito pero hindi nga umabot,” he said.
Binay had said President Aquino pledged Zapanta’s family a substantial amount for the blood money, but he has not revealed the amount.
Binay faces graft indictment for the alleged overprice and rigging in the construction and design of the Makati parking building when he was mayor. He also faces several plunder complaints before the Ombudsman. He said the charges were meant to derail his presidential bid. TVJ
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