PH, China discuss exchange of prisoners
BEIJING—China and the Philippines are considering exchanging drug convicts in their own countries to enable the prisoners to serve their sentences in jails in their own countries.
“There are some discussions on transfer of sentenced persons. They are trying to reach agreement so if they are sentenced they can be transferred,” Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana told reporters in a press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
“One of the issues being discussed is the possible agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons because there are also Chinese [prisoners] in the Philippines so that they could serve their sentence[s] in their own countries,” Sta. Romana said.
He said there were 190 Filipinos, mostly women, serving sentences for drugs in various prisons in China. Two are on death row.
“So one of the problems we have here and is accumulated through the years is the number of Filipinos being detained because of being drug mules or because of carrying illegal amounts of drugs,” he said.
But Sta. Romana said the exchange of prisoners would be on a “case-by-case” basis, not mass exchange.