Filipina acquitted of drug charges in Italy


A May 18, 2011 press release by the Department of Foreign Affairs
The Philippine Embassy in Rome reported that a Filipina was acquitted of drug charges in Italy.
Italy RomaThe verdict was rendered on May 4 by the judge of the Tribunale di Civitavecchia, on the strength of the evidence presented by the Embassy-provided lawyer. The Filipina was on house arrest during her trial, which lasted seven months.
Civitavecchia is a town more than 150 kilometers from Rome.
The 59-year old Filipina was apprehended on 4 October 2010 upon arrival at the Fiumicino Airport, after she was allegedly found to be carrying 49.50 grams of shabu hidden in a small plastic sachet inside a portable DVD player that she was asked to carry for a fellow overseas Filipino worker in Rome.
She was incarcerated at the Civitavecchia prison from the day of her arrest until her trial on 18 October 2010, where she was granted house arrest for medical reasons.
When the Embassy learned of her case, it immediately made representations with the Italian Ministry of Justice that Embassy representatives be allowed to attend the hearing, and engaged the services a lawyer.  Embassy representatives also monitored her case, and made constant visits while she was on house arrest.
The Filipina continually maintained her innocence throughout the trial and her statements with the courts were consistent.
The Filipino community also provided assistance to the Filipina. The Filipino Chaplaincy launched a signature campaign attesting to her good moral character.  More than 500 signatures were collected in this campaign, which was also presented to the court.
After her acquittal, the expressed her gratitude to the Filipino community, the Chaplaincy and the Embassy for their untiring support, assistance and guidance during the trial.
She went to the Embassy to personally thank Philippine Ambassador to Italy Romeo Manalo and the Embassy’s Assistance to Nationals section for their support and assistance.