MANILA, Philippines – The death sentence imposed on a Filipina found guilty of drug trafficking in Malaysia is on appeal, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur revealed.
“Her defense counsel filed a notice of appeal before the Malaysian Court of Appeal right after the sentence was imposed by the lower court. Appeal proceedings in Malaysia generally take some two years or even more,” said Consul General Medardo Macaraig.
The Pinay was convicted by the Shah Alam High Court on September 28 after having been found guilty of trafficking 800 grams of heroin and morphine into Malaysia.
“Even after a guilty verdict is handed down at that level, the case can be elevated to the Federal Court. In the event that the Federal Court will uphold the capital punishment conviction, an application for an executive clemency will be undertaken,” Macaraig said.
Macaraig said that with the appeal, the death sentence will not be carried out soon.
“We still have a long way to go. There is much room for hope,” he added.
The Filipina was apprehended on March 28, 2010 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport en route to Vietnam where a bag containing two kilograms of heroin and morphine was seized from her. She claimed that the bag was allegedly given to her by a Nigerian on the way to the airport. The Nigeria was a friend of an acquaintance she met in Malaysia.
“The Embassy is not leaving any stone unturned in providing assistance to her. She was represented by legal counsel during the criminal trial, and Embassy representatives attended her hearings right from the start and have been visiting her in jail. We are also in constant communication with her family through the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs,” Macaraig said.