Pubdate: Wed, 30 Mar 2011
Source: Manila Bulletin (The Philippines)
Author: Roy C. Mabasa


MANILA,Philippines -- With a nation traumatized by the execution of
the three Filipinos in China for drug trafficking on Wednesday, it is
but crucial that the government starts this early to focus on the
cases of at least 500 Filipinos who are currently detained in China
and other parts of the world since 2006 for various offenses, majority
of which are drug-related.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), 74 Filipinos are
currently on death row for drug trafficking with reprieve in China.

The non-critical death penalty cases in China "with reprieve" allow a
two-year suspension of sentence and possible commutation to life
imprisonment for good behavior.

Only six cases of the 74 on death row have so far reached the China's
Supreme Court: two of them were overturned, 3 of them were affirmed -
those of Ramon Credo, Elizabeth Batain, and Sally Ordinario Villanueva -
while one is still being reviewed.

Also in China, 38 Filipinos have been meted life sentences and nearly
80 are serving 15-year jail terms, while 35 cases are still being heard.

According to the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou, 56
Filipinas are currently serving sentences at the Guangdong Women's
Prison, while 13 Filipinos are imprisoned at the Dongguan Provincial

There are presently 99 Filipinos incarcerated in Chinese prisons under
the Consulate General's jurisdiction.

Drug trafficking of 50 grams or more of illegal drugs is punishable by
life imprisonment or death in China.

Meanwhile, Senate Resolution Number 1192 filed by Sen. Manny Villar
stated that 111 Filipinos have been arrested in China, Hong Kong, and
Macau since 2008 for drug related offenses.

On the other hand, there are at least 301 cases thorughout various
countries in the Asia Pacific region wherein 205 women and 96 men.

In Muslim countries, where a number of Filipinos are also detained for
drug-related crimes, Shariah law holds that drug trafficking is
punishable by death.

In the Middle East, there are 89 cases with 71 males and 18

As of Jan. 31, 17 of these cases are punishable by death - 8 in
Jeddah, 7 in Riyadh and 2 in Kuwait

However, the DFA's Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers'
Affairs (OUMWA) has already obtained four signed tanazuls and
currently negotiating or commencing negotiations for 10 OFWs.

In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, there is possibility of commutation of
death sentence when the following concur: Tanazul (forgiveness) from
the family of the victim to settle the private aspect of the crime,
given upon the payment of diyah (blood money); and clemency of the
public aspect of the crime, granted by the Saudi King or Emir of
Kuwait upon high-level intercessions led by the President.

Since January, 2006, 35 impositions of death penalty have been
commuted to life imprisonment. Of these, 15 were already repatriated
to the Philippines while 20 are currently serving commuted sentences. 
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