Press Release
December 2, 2011

Legarda on the Death Penalty Case of a Filipino in Guangxi

"The death penalty against a 35-year old Filipino national convicted of drug trafficking in China is unfortunate, but we need to respect the decision," Senator Loren Legarda said in reaction to the death penalty affirmed by the High People's Court (HPC) of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China.

The execution is scheduled to be carried out on December 8, 2011.

The Filipino national was arrested on September 13, 2008 at the Guilin International Airport in Southern China while attempting to smuggle 1.495 kilos of heroin. Smuggling more than 50 grams of heroin or other drugs is punishable by death in China.

"This is a most difficult time for the family and I ask every Filipino to pray for our countryman. The family has requested for privacy and the least we can do right now is to respect their wishes," Legarda added.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs has exhausted all possible means to extend assistance, as provided under our laws. Ultimately, the decision is the result of law enforcement and the administration of justice by another country. We need to respect that. The matter is now beyond our hands," Legarda said.

Senator Legarda does not see this recent development to affect the bilateral relations between China and the Philippines.

The Senator also issued an appeal to all Filipinos overseas to be vigilant against attempts by unscrupulous individuals who may want to take advantage of their vulnerability either here or in another country.

Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

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