VICE President Jejomar Binay on Sunday reiterated his warning to Filipinos, especially those going abroad, not to carry illegal drugs when travelling to other countries.
“Lives are at stake here and no amount of money can compensate for a lost life. Modern and sophisticated equipment can now easily detect drugs. Do not take the chance,” he said.
Binay issued the statement even as he asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to extend all possible legal assistance to two Filipinos who were sentenced to death in Vietnam for trafficking prohibited drugs.
“I am asking the DFA through the Philippine Embassy in Hanoi to extend full assistance to our kababayans who were recently convicted and sentenced to death for smuggling illegal drugs,” he said.
Binay, who is also the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns, noted that there is still hope that the convictions of the two Filipinos could be overturned since they can still file an appeal.
Emmanuel Camacho, 39, was found guilty by a Hanoi court of carrying 3.4 kilos of cocaine while Donna Buenagua Mazon, 39, was sentenced to death in Ho Chi Minh City, after being caught with 1.5 kilos of cocaine in December 2013.
“From my understanding, their convictions are not yet final and executory and they can still file for appeal,” the Vice President said.
“I hope the DFA can extend all necessary legal assistance as we seek all available options,” he added.
If the execution of the two pushes through, it would be Vietnam’s first execution of foreign nationals in decades.