DFA: Over 700 Pinoys face drug-related cases

By Pia Lee-Brago, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 08 2014 04:48 AM | Updated as of Jul 08 2014 05:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines - At least 787 Filipinos are facing drug-related cases worldwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

Most of the cases are in Asia at 343, including 220 (59 males, 161 females) in China. There are 116 cases in the Americas, 104 in Europe and 244 in the Middle East and Africa.

The DFA did not provide the number of Filipinos on death row.

In China, there are 22 Filipinos on death row with two years reprieve, 72 meted life imprisonment, 114 with fixed term and 12 pending cases.

DFA spokesman Charles Jose said death sentences with two years reprieve might be commuted to life imprisonment if the convict will show remorse and good behavior.

He said the sentence might even be reduced if convict cooperates with prison officials and fellow inmates.

The DFA earlier said the consulate in Guangzhou is monitoring two drug trafficking cases involving three Filipinos.

The consulate said there are 95 other Filipinos in various jails for drug smuggling and sentenced to either life imprisonment or death with two-year reprieve.

In 2010 and 2011, two Filipinos were executed in China after the Supreme People’s Court affirmed their conviction for drug smuggling.

A white paper released by the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court showed a rise in the number of foreigners involved in drug-related crimes. “Foreigners from Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe make use of the convenience of Guangzhou’s location and turned the city into a hub for drug consumption, manufacturing, selling and trafficking,” it said.

Guangdong and Hunan, which are under the jurisdiction of the consulate in Guangzhou, aside from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, have the most number of drug-related cases.

The DFA reiterated its call on the public to be vigilant to the modus operandi of drug syndicates recruiting drug mules to China. Filipinos who are residing, working or vacationing in China are advised to be cautious in accepting packages.