DFA: Filipina on death row in China meets with family
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the family of the 35-year-old Filipina who was sentenced to death for drug smuggling was able to finally talk with her Monday morning.
“Her family visited her at 10 a.m. this morning in Jejang detention center in Hangzhou, China,” DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters in a press briefing.
Hernandez said “the family was able to talk with her for 30 minutes, and this afternoon, they will proceed to the Chechang mens prison to visit the cousin of the convicted Filipina,” who was also sentenced to death but was given a two-year reprieve for good behavior.
The family has not been informed of the actual date of the execution, Hernandez said, but it could be up to July 3.
“This will be the only time that the family would be allowed to talk to our fellow countryman in the detention center,” Hernandez said.
The Philippine government was still awaiting the response of China on a letter of appeal from President Benigno Aquino III asking to have the sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
“It has been clear that China is very strict with the implementation of their laws regarding drug trafficking and we also have said that we respect their laws and the decision of their courts,” Hernandez added.
Vice-President Jejomar Binay was previously set to personally deliver the letter to Chinese president Xi Jinping from Aquino.
The Chinese Ministry of Affairs however sent word that “now would not be a convenient time” for Binay to visit the country, forcing him to cancel his trip.
But he said that he was not yet giving up hope that her execution would be deferred.
“Let us continue praying that our appeal for the deferment of her execution will be granted. The request of President Aquino is to bring down her sentence to life imprisonment,” Binay said in a statement Monday.
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