Sunday, March 27, 2011

Palace: Executions will not affect PH-China ties

MANILA, Philippines - Diplomatic ties with China will not be affected even if it decides to push through with the executions of the 3 Filipino drug mules, Malacanang said on Sunday.

In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon “Ricky” Carandang said the country respects the judicial system of China.

“They’re just following their process…What we only questioned was the death penalty, that’s why we asked for a commutation…but at the end of the day, it will not impact on our long-term bilateral relations,” he said.

The government is still pushing for last ditch efforts to save the convicted Filipinos.

The Supreme Court of Justice of China has decided to snub appeals for a commutation of the sentences of Ramon Credo, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva and Elizabeth Batain.

They will be executed on March 30. Their families flew to China early Sunday.
Vice President Jejomar Binay already sent a letter to Chinese President Hu Jin Tao, attempting anew to save the Filipinos.

“On humanitarian grounds and on the basis of the strong friendship and cooperation between our two countries and peoples, I once again appeal to Your Excellency to grant clemency to these three Filipinos,” the letter read.


Meanwhile, Migrante-Middle East urged President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to create a taskforce that will look into the cases of Filipinos on death row.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, said: "The Aquino administration, amid the impending execution of three Filipinos on China death row and if it really intends to save other OFWs on death row, should, by now, form an inter-agency task force whose primary function is to look into saving their lives from execution."

There are more than 70 OFWs on China death row and 120 others in other countries, he said.

Monterona cited the case of Don Lanuza, incarcerated in Saudi Arabia by killing an Arab national in 2000.

"As per the latest information, the court is just awaiting the son of the aggrieved party to reach legal age so that it could decide either to accept the blood money in exchange of forgiveness or reject it in favor of execution," he said.

"The entire Filipino nation, including Filipinos abroad, have to confront this bitter reality; but efforts to save OFWs whose cases are punishable by death should start from the time a proper case had been filed and immediately hire the best legal defense team the government could provide, noting that most were victims of international drug syndicates, if not, had committed the crime in defense of his life," Monterona added

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