A senior Philippine official has urged the Malaysian government to spare 48 Filipinos who have been handed the death penalty.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has said the Department of Labor and Employment is extending all efforts to help the 48 Filipinos, mostly migrant workers, who were handed the death penalty for 11 different offenses, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
“We will not abandon them. We will always respond to the call of distress from any overseas Filipino worker,” Panelo said.
It is not known what offenses the Filipinos committed in Malaysia.
But the death penalty is handed to people convicted of terrorism, murder, rape resulting in death, gang robberies that involve murder, drug trafficking, kidnapping in order to murder and hostage-taking resulting in death.
The Duterte government is waiting for a report by Labor Secretary Silvestro Bello III on the Filipinos on death row in Malaysia.
Lito Atienza, a member of the House of Representatives, has called on the Malaysian government to spare the Filipinos from death row and to be handed a lighter sentence, the Manila Standard reported.
“In light of Malaysia’s decision to scrap the mandatory death sentence for several offenses, we are appealing for the lives of Filipinos on death row to be spared,” Atienza said.
In Malaysia, the death penalty is usually carried out by hanging. From 2016 to 2017, Malaysia carried out 13 executions.