A group of Philippine business leaders led by Fil-Am Loida Nicolas Lewis and Judy Araneta Roxas are helping save an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on death row by raising funds for blood money.

Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza, who is in a Saudi Arabian jail since 2000 under a sentence of death by beheading, was convicted in 2002 for murdering an Arab national in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Last February, through the work of the Philippine Embassy and Members of the Reconciliation Committee, the Arabian family of Lanuza’s victim agreed to forgive Lanuza.

But as is the custom of Saudi Arabia, they demanded blood money amounting to 3 million Saudi riyals, or U.S.$800,000, in order to spare Lanuza’s life.

So far, the Lanuza family has raised only approximately $13,000.

Lewis and Araneta’s group have given a challenge grant to match every donation — dollar to dollar — the Lanuza family will get to save Dondon.

If a donor donates $100, the business leaders will match it with another $100.

“We do not have the luxury of time,” said Letty Lanuza, mother of Lanuza.

“By February 2012, it would be one year since they forgave and required the blood money equivalent.”

“If by that time, we have very little to show to them, it may mean the withdrawal of their forgiveness and hasten the death of Dondon,” she added.

Meanwhile, Metrobank President Arthur Ty agreed to waive the transfer fee for any donation sent through Metrobank for both Philippine and U.S. donations.

Any donation may be sent through the following:

• For Philippine donation: Letty Lanuza, Metrobank Malolos Mc Arthur Hi-Way Branch, Saving Account #: 575-3-57501112-9, Swift Code: MBTCPHMM, or

• For USA: Wire donation to Metrobank Account No. 16048420
Swiss Code: MBTCUS33, ABA Routing #: 026002846 (Account Name: Loida N. Lewis FBO Dondon Lanuza)

For inquiries, e-mail Loida Lewis at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Letty Lanuza at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it