MANILA, Dec. 30, 2015— Catholic bishops have expressed deep sorrow over yesterday’s execution of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) convicted of murder in Saudi Arabia.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, who heads the Church’s migrants ministry, said they pray especially for Joselito Lidasan Zapanta and assure the latter’s family of his spiritual closeness and sympathy.
“We lift to God’s mercy and forgiving love for the soul of our OFW,” Bishop Santos said.
The 35-year old Filipino was sentenced to death by the Riyadh Grand Court in April 2010 for killing his Sudanese landlord allegedly out of self-defense in 2009.
The victim’s family had demanded P48 million “blood money” in exchange for Zapanta’s freedom, but only P23 million was raised for the OFW.
According to the prelate, the execution of Zapanta, who was a father of two, again shows the “travails and perils” faced by OFWs.
“This has always been a great pastoral challenge for us — to help our OFWs be better prepared and equipped to deal with new cultures and way of life in a foreign land,” Bishop Santos added.
“We continue to pray, hope and work for the welfare of our OFWs, that they be safe always. We are with the family in this moment of grief and tragic loss of life,” he said. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)