BACOLOD

Aquino eyes Binay as emissary to China

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday announced his plan of sending Vice President Jejomar Binay to China to appeal for the commutation of death sentences of three Filipinos there.

“I’m meeting the Vice President actually this afternoon cause I might send him as an emissary to stress how important it is for us to have the death penalty be commuted to life imprisonment as we are doing here (Philippines),” Aquino said in an interview after the command conference in Camp Aguinaldo this morning.

China has upheld death sentence for three Filipinos - two females and one male – convicted for drug trafficking.

Aquino said all efforts are being exerted to save the lives of the three Filipinos, but the Chinese government seems to be hard on its decision.

He added that he has been trying to communicate with Chinese President Hu Jintao since Friday but the latter has yet to signify interest to talk to him.

The President said as early as August last year, the government has been trying to negotiate for the Filipinos in death row in China due to drug-related cases.

He admitted it is hard to deal with China when it comes to drug cases considering its strict drug laws and policies.

“To a degree, it is hard to negotiate because its drugs. We are talking about kilos of drugs here. Drug is a worldwide problem and we have to respect their sovereignty and if it goes through their system and the right process, what else can do?” Aquino explained. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

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