THE Duterte administration is exhausting all efforts to save around 48 Filipinos who are facing death penalty in Malaysia, Malacañang said on Friday, March 29.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government, through the Labor department led by Secretary Silvestre Bello III, is doing its best to help the 48 Filipinos who are on death row for violating Malaysian laws.
"I think the secretary of Labor is doing something about that already. We're waiting in fact to his report of the latest," the Palace official said in a press conference.
At least 48 Filipinos, mostly migrant workers, have been slapped with a death sentence for 11 offenses.
Malaysia usually carries out death penalty by hanging.
In October 2018, Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope coalition government) imposed a moratorium on all judicial executions, pending the passage of a new legislation that will remove the mandatory death sentence for 11 sentences.
The new legislation intends to give Malaysian judges leeway to inflict either death by hanging or long-term imprisonment.
Before freezing executions in October last year, Malaysia carried out 13 executions from 2016 to 2017.
On Thursday, March 28, Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza called on the Malaysian government to downgrade to prison terms the death sentences against Filipinos in Kuala Lumpur detention facilities.
Panelo guaranteed that the current administration would not abandon the Filipinos who are on a death row in Malaysia.
"Definitely, we will not. We will always respond to the call of distress from any OFW (overseas Filipino worker)," he said. (SunStar Philippines)