Say that again? The Saudi king contributed money for Dondon Lanuza’s freedom?

After 12 years behind bars, a free man this year

After 12 years behind bars, a free man this year

The report came from no less than CEO and philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis.

She said: “This morning (February 4th), Arab News called me up to say that the King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah and the Royal Family are going to fill up the blood money that is due to the family of the victim in the case of Dondon Lanuza. When I heard that, my heart just leaped with joy because it is a miracle.”

Lewis said in a press statement that the King is “filling up the $600,000” needed to complete the blood money required to release overseas Filipino worker Dondon Lanuza. As a result, she said, “Dondon Lanuza will be walking a free man this year” after spending 12 years behind bars.

Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza was accused of killing a member of the royal family, a man he became friends with while working as a draftsman in Saudi Arabia. There were allegations of advances of a sexual nature which Lanuza reportedly tried to ward off. In the struggle, the Saudi man was killed. Lanuza claimed self-defense.

Lanuza’s mother Letty said the man’s family demanded ‘blood money’ of about $833K in exchange for her son being spared from beheading. Letty sought the assistance of Lewis who, in turn, used her influence to raise the amount and call worldwide attention to Lanuza’s situation. It appears from the statement that the King of Saudi Arabia made up for the shortfall and contributed the balance.

“For the King of Saudi Arabia, I guess his heart was touched by the prayers of thousands of Filipinos, including Letty Lanuza, the mother,” said Lewis, who thanked the Saudi royalty “for their contribution in providing additional funding toward the freedom of Lanuza.”

She also expressed thanks to Philippine and Saudi government officials and private individuals Manuel V. Pangilinan, Judy Araneta Roxas, Tessie Sy Coson, to name just some of her friends.

“Para sa lahat sa inyong tumulong kay DonDon Lanuza, sa mga kaibigan kong nagbigay ng medyo malaki-laking pera,” Lewis said. “Maraming-maraming salamat. I’m sure Dondon himself is thanking you in his prayers. God is good, all the time.”

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