Manila: The Philippines said on Tuesday its
diplomats had increased their efforts to save 77 Filipinos on
death row overseas after four nationals were executed in China
last year for drug trafficking.
"We are helping them out. We are making high level
representations and making sure they have access to legal and
consular assistance and trying to get their sentences
commuted," Foreign Department spokesman Raul Hernandez said.
Last year, four Filipinos were put to death in China for
drug trafficking despite the intervention of high-level
officials including an appeal from Philippines President
The executions triggered widespread condemnation in the
largely-Catholic country which abolished the death sentence in
Of those facing execution, 42 are detained in China on
drugs charges, he said.
Six Filipinos face the death sentence in Malaysia, five
also for drugs-related offences, while one Filipina convicted
for the same reason is detained in Indonesia.
There are 27 Filipinos on death row in the Middle East,
most for murder, while another Filipino is facing execution
for murder in the United States, said Hernandez.
He did not say when the 77 were due to be executed.
The welfare of Filipinos abroad is a sensitive issue in a
country where where more than nine million work overseas, many
in harsh conditions where they can be tricked into acting as