Philippines appeals to China for drug mule's life

China Featured South East Asia - June 28th, 2013
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The Philippines has asked China to spare the life of a 35-year-old Filipina who is set to be executed for drug trafficking.

The woman was sentenced to death without reprieve in December for trying to smuggle 6.198 kilos of heroin into China. Her identity has been withheld at the request of her family.

According to the charge by the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing, the woman “has been going back and forth” from Dubai, Hong Kong and China since 2008 until 2011 when she was arrested.

Raul Hernandez, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said President Benigno Aquino III had written to Chinese President Xi Jinping asking him to spare the life of the woman and commute her sentence, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“The appeal letter states that for humanitarian reasons, this sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment. And this will allow the Filipina to have a second lease on her life, and to reform and be to productively contribute to society,” Hernandez said.

He also said the Philippines “respects Chinese law,” as well as the Beijing court’s verdict.

Under China’s criminal code, smuggling more than 50 grams of heroin into the country is punishable by the death penalty.

There are 213 Filipino nationals involved in drug-related cases in China, including the 35-year-old woman. In 2011, China executed three Filipino drug couriers.