3 OFWs on death row in China
BEIJING, China – Three Filipinos are on death row in China for involvement in illegal drugs.
Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta Romana said there are high hopes that at least one of the cases would be reduced to a life sentence.
As for the other two, the envoy said there was "no imminent danger of execution."
"Sa [On] death row, there are 3 cases but one – there is a chance to be reprieved to life [sentence]. We are talking really of two now but [still] under appeal pa at the intermediate level so there is a chance na hindi (that there is no) imminent danger of execution," Sta Romana told reporters at the Philippine Embassy.
He explained that the two death sentences were given at the immediate court or court of first instance. These are currently being appealed at the provinical level.
If the death sentence is upheld at the provincial leve,, Sta Romana said the case will be brought to China's Supreme Court, the final arbiter of the law.
"They will make the final decision. If ever it goes through the final decision, we hope it will be with reprieve of two years. So...there is no imminent danger of execution or anything like that," he added.
The envoy said that the Philippine Congress has a fund for migrant workers' cases abroad and that they have hired lawyers for the two cases under appeal.
He said the Filipinos' death row cases in China are related to illegal drugs. Sta Romana said at least 180 Filipinos are in Chinese jails for drug-related crimes.
"So most of the problems really had to do with drugs even coming in or out of the country. The Chinese are very sophisticated in detection equipment no matter how you take it or hide it they detect," he said.
In 2011, 3 Filipinos were executed in China for drug trafficking, among them, a 35-year-old Filipina convicted of smuggling over 6 kilos of heroin into that country. – Rappler.com