Filipina convicted of drug smuggling meted life

A FILIPINO woman convicted of drug smuggling last year was meted life sentence on January 6 by the lower court of Denpasar in Bali, Indonesia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Wednesday.

The unnamed woman was apprehended on July 12, 2010 at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali after a flight from Kuala Lumpur. She was found carrying 2.4 kilograms of heroin. The DFA did not disclose where she is being incarcerated.

The DFA said its embassy in Jakarta was not remiss in extending assistance to the woman while her case was being tried, including legal representation and consular help.

The DFA insisted such women are victims of syndicates who turn them into drug mules and warned against “stiff penalties imposed by other countries on anyone caught carrying illegal drugs.”

In China, drug trafficking of 50 grams or more of illegal drugs is punishable by 15 years in prison, life imprisonment or death. In Muslim countries, Shariah laws impose death sentences to drug traffickers.

DFA records show that there are, at present, 208 drug-related cases in China involving Filipinos — 36 received life imprisonment, 72 received fixed-term imprisonment and 19 pending.

Of the number in China, six Filipino nationals have been meted the death penalty without reprieve. These lower court decisions have been automatically elevated to the higher courts for review. Seventy-three other individuals have been meted the death penalty, the DFA said. PNA

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