Binay’s visit to China junked-A A +A
Thursday, February 17, 2011
MANILA (Updated 1:39 p.m.) -- Vice President Jejomar Binay will not be pushing through with his visit to China to appeal for the commutation of sentence of three Filipinos facing the death row for drug trafficking.
In a press briefing in Malacañang Thursday, Binay said the Chinese government sent a word to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) saying "it is not the appropriate time" for him to go to China.
"I had talked to (Foreign Affairs) Undersecretary (Esteban) Conejos. He said he just received a message from the Chinese Embassy saying 'time is not appropriate' for me to go there," Binay said.
Despite China's hesitation, Binay said the government is still trying to exhaust all efforts to save the lives of the three Filipinos.
The government is also not losing hope in saving the lives of three Filipinos who were sentenced to die by lethal injection in China despite the court decision being final.
Death sentence were meted against Ramon Credo, 42, who was arrested at the Gaoji International Airport in Xiamen for carrying 4,113 grams of heroin; Elizabeth Batain, 38, apprehended at the Shenzhen Airport with 6,800 grams of the same substance; and Sally Villanueva, 32, who was nabbed for carrying some 4,410 grams of the prohibited substance.
The Chinese Embassy said in a statement that the death sentence on the three Filipino drug traffickers is the final verdict by the Chinese judicial authorities in accordance with law.
However, Binay said he remained optimistic that China would change its decision.
"Let us pray more. Miracles can happen. We should not lose hope until the execution has not yet happened," he said.
Representations are also ongoing for possible commutation of the three death sentences.
The Vice President believes that the message of China has already been relayed to President Benigno Aquino III.
"As our leader, the President is bothered. I am sure he is also sad with what has happened," Binay said.
The families of the three Filipinos are expected to go to China on Saturday.
Binay said the government will shoulder all the expenses of the family who will go to China. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)