Departure Statement of Vice President Binay upon leaving for China

Statement of the Hon. Jejomar C. Binay, Vice President of the Philippines:
Upon his departure for the People’s Republic of China on February 18, 2011, to meet with the President of the Supreme People’s Court and the Executive Vice Foreign Minister of China

[Delivered February 18, 2011]

As instructed by President Aquino, I leave this morning for Beijing to appeal for clemency for our three kababayans on death row.

Our Embassy in Beijing informed me this visit is a special consideration for the Philippines, in view of the close friendship between our two countries and peoples.

We thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China for accommodating our request to make this last plea on behalf of these three Filipinos and their families.

We were informed that our three Filipino nationals have been sentenced in accordance with China’s law.

The Philippine Government respects the decision of the Chinese courts.

We do not condone drug trafficking. However, we believe that these Filipinos were merely victims of international drug syndicates. I carry with me the prayers of the Filipino people that clemency could be granted on humanitarian grounds.

In Beijing, I will meet the President of the Supreme People’s Court of China and other high-ranking Chinese officials.

I also hope to discuss with Chinese officials how both countries can further work together to address the drug menace.

I hope that we will continue to pray for our kababayans and their families.

Thank you.