DFA extended full assistance to three Filipinos on death penalty for drug trafficking in China

A February 18, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) made consistent high-level, low-key representations for the commutation of the death sentences of the Filipino nationals on death row in China.

In January last year, DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban B. Conejos Jr. made representations on their behalf with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao.

In August 2010, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto G. Romulo wrote a letter to Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Yang Jiechi to likewise request the Minister’s kind intercession on humanitarian grounds.

In the spirit of friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and China, on the same month, President Benigno S. Aquino III sent a letter to President Hu Jintao to convey the Philippine Government’s hope for a favorable outcome of the review of their cases by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC).

In addition, the Consulates General in Xiamen and in Guangzhou made constant consular jail visitations and extended full consular assistance to the three Filipinos and to their families for scheduled visits.

Consulate officials visited Ms. Sally eight times during the period of January 2009 to January 2011.

Consulate officials visited Mr. Ramon eight times also during the period of January 2009 to January 2011.

Consular officials visited Ms. Elizabeth five times between August 2008 and October 2010.

The Philippine Embassy and Consulates General also ensured that all three Filipinos were represented by competent legal counsel and aided by translators during the trial of their cases.

The Embassy and Consulates strictly monitored their cases (both the trial and the appeal). Consulate officials attended their court hearings and had close coordination with the counsels of the three Filipinos.