MANILA - Vice President Jejomar Binay is appealing to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to extend full assistance to two Filipinos sentenced to death in Vietnam for smuggling cocaine.
"I am asking the DFA through the Philippine Embassy in Hanoi to extend full assistance to our kababayans who were recently convicted and sentenced to death for smuggling illegal drugs," said Binay, the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers' Concerns.
Binay said the convictions of the two Filipinos -- Emmanuel Sillo Camacho and Donna Buenagua Mazon -- will still undergo an appeals stage.
"From my understanding, their convictions are not yet final and executory and they can still file for appeal," he said. "I hope the DFA can extend legal assistance as we seek all available options."
Camacho, 39, was found guilty by a Hanoi court of carrying 18 packets of cocaine, totalling some 3.4 kilograms.
Mazon, also 39, was sentenced to death in Ho Chi Minh City, after being caught with 1.5 kilograms of cocaine in December 2013.
Meanwhile, the vice president reiterated his warning to Filipinos that it is not worth taking the risk to traffic illegal drugs into foreign countries.
"Lives are at stake here and no amount of money can compensate for a lost life," he said.