DFA asks for circumspection to avoid derailing OFW's appeal of death sentence

May 25, 2010 8:22 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, MAY 25 — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has appealed for circumspection from private persons, including the media, in the case of Filipino worker Joselito Zapanta who had been meted the death penalty on April 13 for killing his Sudanese landlord in Saudi Arabia in June 2009.

DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban B. Conejos Jr. said that Zapanta had appealed his case on time, with assistance from the Philippine embassy.

According to Conejos, the case is approaching “a sensitive phase” and stated that further publicity of the case may just jeopardize Mr. Zapanta’s chances for clemency.”

Zapanta’s case was aggravated by stealing the landlord’s money and mobile phone. He gave them to a Filipino woman, unidentified by the DFA, who was imprisoned as an accomplice but had been repatriated to the Philippines in January this year after serving her sentence.

With that, DFA is “working quietly in contacting the victim’s family and will refrain from any public discussions of the case,” Conejos said.

“I urge all private interested parties to exercise circumspection in issuing public pronouncements regarding this case so as not to jeopardize ongoing efforts to save his life.” he pleaded.

Zapanta, from the town of Mexico in Pampanga, claimed he killed the Sudanese by accident during a heated argument over house rent. (PNA)

vcs/GJB

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