Press Release
February 18, 2011

Villar calls for 'prayer power' for 3 Pinoys

Sen. Manny Villar today called on all Filipinos to pray for the lives of three overseas Filipino workers facing execution in China for drug trafficking next week.

Villar said he is hoping that prayers can bring a miracle and make the Chinese government change its mind and grant the request of commutation of sentence from death penalty to life imprisonment.

While an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs admitted that the request for commutation will be difficult to grant, Villar said efforts should continue to save their lives. He also lauded Vice President Jejomar Binay for flying to China to personally appeal to the President of the Supreme People's Court of China.

"Baka sakali na sa sama-sama nating panalangin ay magbago ang sitwasyon at magdesisyon ang China na maibaba ang hatol sa mga kababayan natin," Villar said adding that he believes the three Filipinos are victims of illegal drug syndicates.

Villar also called for intensified drive to go after those behind the drug syndicates that take advantage of poor Filipinos. He said these personalities deserve to be punished with the harshest penalty under the law.

Villar said it is unfortunate that the sentence if not reversed will be carried out next week, the same week of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution.

"We are hoping that the commutation of sentence will be a gift by the Chinese government on the occasion of the People Power anniversary," he said.

The death penalty is scheduled to be carried out on February 21 on two OFWs in Xiamen and in Guandong for the third OFW on Feb 22- the day that signaled the start of the EDSA I revolution in 1986.

The plight of three Pinoys facing execution in China should be a reminder to us that involvement in the operation of illegal drug syndicates even if it pays good money will cost you your life, he said.

"Huwag nating isugal ang ating buhay sa nakasisilaw na alok ng sindikato. Kung may magpapadala naman ng bagahe, dapat alamin ang laman nito at huwag niyo itong dalhin kung hindi sila papayag na makita niyo ang laman," he said.

Villar also warned Filipinos that these drug syndicates are also using social networking sites like Facebook to lure 'friends' into their drug mule operation.

Villar is the author of Senate Proposed Resolution No. 122 urging an inquiry on the spate of arrests of Filipino nationals, particularly OFWs in Southeast Asia, being used as drug mules by international drug syndicates.

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