Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Repost From GMA News.TV

Palace keeping hopes alive for 3 drug mules in China

With just days to go before China executes three Filipino drug mules, MalacaƱang remains hopeful a last-minute miracle will spare the three from state-sanctioned deaths.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Saturday said the Philippine government is maintaining communications with the Chinese Foreign Ministry on the case of the three.

“As President Benigno Aquino III said, we are hopeful. We maintain communications with the China, although we know there is a limit to what we can do. But as Vice President Jejomar Binay had said, we have the right to hope as long as the executions have not happened," Lacierda said on government-run dzRB radio.

Last Wednesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the Chinese government will execute Elizabeth Batain, Sally Villanueva, and Ramon Credo on March 30, a month after China agreed to stay their executions following Binay's visit to Beijing to appeal their case.

The three were caught separately bringing drugs into China in 2008.

But amid the looming executions, Binay on Friday said appeals are still ongoing.

On the other hand, MalacaƱang admitted it is not sure if the three – or their families – will be entitled to government benefits.

Lacierda said the three will have to be members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) before they are entitled to benefits.

“My understanding is that the OWWA was established to help documented overseas workers. If they are not documented, the Department of Foreign Affairs will assist them. We will have to determine if they are documented," he said. — LBG, GMA News

Reposted From GMA News.TV