Part blood money paid by KSA spares Filipino from death

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Updated 03 February 2013
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Part blood money paid by KSA spares Filipino from death

RIYADH: Filipino expats in the Kingdom expressed gratitude late yesterday following a Saudi government decision to shoulder the unpaid balance of the blood money sought by the Saudi family of a victim slain by an overseas Filipino worker (OFW).
“We thank Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and may the Almighty keep him in good health always so that he could continue extending humanitarian acts not only to Filipinos but other nationals as well,” Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago told Arab News from Manila.
OFW worker Rodelio Celestino “Dondon” Lanuza was sentenced to death for the June 2000 slaying of Mohamad Al-Qahtani, an Arab national. Late yesterday the Saudi Embassy in Manila announced that its government had made a directive for the payment of the balance of SR 2.3 million for handing over to the heirs of Al-Qahtani, who was stabbed to death by Lanuza what Lanuza claimed as self-defense.
“The Saudi government, after the heirs of the victim waived their right, has paid the balance of the blood money,” the Saudi Embassy announcement said.
Tago said that after the Saudi government has deposited the amount, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh will work with various parties involved to expedite the procedure for the release of Lanuza, who has been in jail for the last 11 years.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also welcomed the announcement and expressed gratitude for the Saudi government’s humanitarian gesture.
“This will pave the way for the issuance of an affidavit of forgiveness or tanazul in Mr. Lanuza’s favor,” Raul Hernandez, DFA spokesman, said in a text message. “We hope that as soon as all legal procedures are completed, Mr. Lanuza will finally be reunited with his family,” he added.
Mike G. Gaerlan, secretary-general of Migrante International-K.S.A., said: “King Abdullah has time and again shown generosity. In the case of Lanuza, he has shown extreme act of humanism.”
Lanuza, who worked as draftsman in the Kingdom in 1996, admitted to stabbing Al Qahtani and was sentenced to death by beheading in 2002.
In February 2011, the Philippine government and the Saudi Reconciliation Committee in Dammam helped Lanuza secure forgiveness from the victim’s family, which required a diyya, or compensation, amounting to 35 million pesos (approximately SR 3.5 million).
Lanuza’s ordeal had also been the subject of the Facebook account “Help Save a Life, Help Save Dondon Lanuza from Death Row.”
The Saudi Embassy said that Lanuza’s mother had earlier filed an appeal for the Saudi government to pay the balance after she was able to raise SR 700,000.
The OFWs running the Facebook page reported raising 10.6 million pesos (approximately SR1.6 million) as of Jan. 10 through several bank accounts.
The Saudi Embassy said that Lanuza’s mother had earlier filed an appeal for the Saudi government to pay the balance after she was able to raise SR 700,000.
The embassy also said that the goodwill gesture was the result of the coordination with the Office of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is the presidential adviser on OFW affairs.


Where We Are Going Today: Workout studio aims to empower Saudi women

Updated 27 April 2018
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Where We Are Going Today: Workout studio aims to empower Saudi women

  • Studio55 is about empowering women to be more in all aspects of life. It’s more than just an exercise
  • It combines spinning with yoga, pilates, TRX, zumba, core fitness and strength training all in one session

Studio55 is a boutique chain for women in Saudi Arabia with a workout studio that features a complete cross-training approach to fitness and well-being. 

It has two branches, one in Alkhobar, established in June 2015, and one in Jeddah, set up in October 2017. 

Al-Batool Baroom, Studio55’s commercial director, said that the studio’s particular approach combined spinning with yoga, pilates, TRX, zumba, core fitness and strength training all in one session.

“It is offered to all our members under one roof through our four workout zones: Ride55, Fitness55, Focus55 and Fusion55.” 

The studio also keeps track of members’ workouts through a software program called Performance IQ. 

It sends the member their workout performance statistics by email at the end of the class and stores the data on their studio profile. 

The information includes their average heart-rate, calories burnt, average RPM (in spinning classes), time and distance.

“Studio55 is about empowering women to be more in all aspects of life. It’s more than just an exercise. We work on awareness, education and community events alongside our workouts and fitness engagement,” Baroom said.

“Every now and then we invite inspiring role-models to come and give an open talk at the studio, as well as prominent instructors to give classes. Some of our guests have included Princess Reema, Raha Moharrak, Dina Al-Tayeb, Manal Rostom, Nelly Attar and Hala Alhamrani.” 

Fatima Batook, founder of Studio55, encouraged women to visit the studio to help to change their lives for the better.

“Women should come to us to be more, to get inspired by our trainers and live their lives to their full potential, achieving not only health and fitness goals but personal life goals,” she said.