Palace: Government assisting 48 Filipinos on death row in Malaysia
Malaysia usually carries out its death penalty by hanging.
Wikimedia Commons/Mehdi Hasan Khan

Palace: Government assisting 48 Filipinos on death row in Malaysia

(Philstar.com) - March 29, 2019 - 4:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has been extending assistance to Filipinos who are facing the death penalty in Malaysia, Malacañang said Friday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier reported that at least 48 Filipino citizens, mostly overseas workers, are on death row in Kuala Lumpur.

"I think the Secretary of Labor (Silvestre Bello III) is doing something about that already. We're waiting, in fact, for his report of the latest," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.

The Malacañang mouthpiece stressed that the government will always respond to the calls of distress from any overseas Filipino worker.

Rep. Lito Atienza (Buhay Party-list) had called on the Malaysian government to spare the Filipinos on death row.

“The commutation of death sentence does not mean that the convicts are not getting punished. They are still getting penalized with harsh prison terms. The death penalty is cruel and inhuman punishment that flouts the right to life,” Atienza said.

Earlier this month, the Malaysian government announced that it would abolish the mandatory capital punishment for 11 offences. Kuala Lumpur usually carries out the death sentence through hanging.

Malaysia used to impose mandatory death sentence to those convicted of crimes such as terrorism, murder, rape resulting in murder, gang robbery with murder, drug trafficking, kidnapping in order to murder and hostage-taking resulting in death.

The proposal to abolish mandatory death sentence would give Malaysian judges the choice to inflict either death by hanging or long-term imprisonment. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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