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    China to execute 3 Pinoys as drug traffickers – DFA

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    China to execute 3 Pinoys as drug traffickers – DFA

    Post  Admin on Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:07 pm

    Three of five Filipinos convicted for drug trafficking in China – two females and one male – will be executed after the Chinese Supreme People's Court (SPC) upheld their death sentences, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

    While two other Filipinos were given two-year reprieves, the three will be executed after the SPC sustained the lower courts' decisions on February 11.

    "For three of the cases, after a thorough and serious review process, the SPC sustained the lower courts' decisions, and the death sentences will be carried out in accordance to Chinese law," according to a release posted on the DFA website.

    While it did not name the convicted Filipinos, the DFA described them as:

    * A male, 42 years old, who was convicted for smuggling 4,113 grams of heroin on 28 December 2008, in Xiamen;
    * A female, 32 years old, who was convicted for smuggling 4,110 grams of heroin on 24 December 2008, in Xiamen; and
    * A female, 38 years old, who was convicted for smuggling 6,800 grams of heroin on 24 May 2008, in Shenzhen.


    The five original convictions were meted by courts in Fujian and Guangdong provinces, the DFA added.

    "As the public is aware, the Philippine Government has made sustained and exhaustive representations with the Chinese Government at all levels to seek mitigated sentences for all Filipinos on death penalty," the DFA said.

    It noted that 72 cases were earlier granted two-year reprieves.

    Under Chinese law, the original sentence of capital punishment may be commuted to life imprisonment if the prisoner displays good behavior while in prison.

    The DFA noted that under Chinese law, smuggling of 50 grams or more of heroin or equivalent drugs is punishable with the death penalty.

    It said the Philippine government provided the three Filipinos all necessary and possible assistance and has ensured that their legal rights were observed and their welfare protected from the time of their arrest and throughout the judicial process.

    The families of the three have been informed of the SPC decision, it added.

    The DFA conveyed its "grave disappointment and sadness" at this turn of events.

    "There is no imposition of capital punishment under Philippine law. Representations are ongoing for possible commutation of the three death sentences," it said.

    It added it has been working closely with other concerned agencies and constantly updating the Office of the President on these drug trafficking cases.

    The Philippine government has a strong anti-illegal drug policy, and is closely cooperating with law enforcement agencies in other countries on efforts against anti-drugs trafficking.

    Following the development, the DFA reiterated its appeal to all Filipinos not to be victimized by international drug syndicates.

    "At the airport, do not agree to carry any luggage for strangers. Avoid falling for other modus operandi employed by drug-trafficking syndicates, like agreeing to carry packages in exchange for money or falling for individuals they meet online and then agreeing to carry items for them," the DFA said.

    "Our people must take full responsibility for their actions by always being on guard against inducements," it added.

    It will be recalled that President Benigno Aquino III decided not to send an official representative of the Philippine government to Oslo, Norway for the Nobel Peace Prize awarding rites for Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo on December 10 last year. (See: Aquino: No need to justify PHL absence at Nobel rites)

    Aquino had explained that Manila was trying to negotiate some kinks in its ties with Beijing, including the deadly Manila hostage fiasco as well as the problem of Filipinos on death row in Chinese prisons.[b]

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