The Philippines said on Tuesday that its diplomats had increased their efforts
to save 77 Filipinos on death row overseas after four of its citizens were
executed in China last year for drug trafficking.
“We are helping them out. We are making high level representations and making
sure [that] they have access to legal and consular assistance and trying to get
their sentences commuted,” Foreign Affairs Department spokesman Raul Hernandez
Last year, four Filipinos were put to death in China for drug trafficking
despite the intervention of high-level officials, including an appeal from
President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
The executions triggered widespread condemnation in the mainly Roman Catholic
country, which abolished the death penalty in 2006.
Of those facing execution, 42 are detained in China on drugs charges, Hernandez
6 Filipinos face the death sentence in Malaysia, with five of them also for
drugs-related offenses while one Filipina convicted for the same reason is
detained in Indonesia.
There are 27 Filipinos on death row in the Middle East, mostly for murder,
while another Filipino is facing execution for murder in the United States, the
department spokesman said.
He did not say when the 77 were due to be executed.
The welfare of Filipinos abroad is a sensitive issue in a country where more
than 9 million work overseas, many in harsh conditions where they can be
tricked into acting as drug mules.
(source: Manila Times)