MANILA – The death sentence of a Filipina convicted of drug trafficking in Malaysia has been commuted, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said on Tuesday.
The embassy said that Sultan of Selangor Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, chairman of the State of Selangor Pardons Board, commuted the sentence meted on Jacqueline Quiamno to life imprisonment on June 15, in response to a request for clemency made by the Philippine post and her family.
“The embassy conveys its heartfelt appreciation to the Sultan of Selangor and the Selangor Pardons Board for this sterling manifestation of benevolence and compassion,” the embassy said.
Quiamno was arrested in June 2005 for smuggling five kilograms of cocaine at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The cocaine was found in her luggage. She said she did it on the bidding of an African drug syndicate based in Hong Kong.
After trial, she was handed a guilty verdict by the Shah Alam High Court in November 2010, which was affirmed by the Federal Court in July 2013.
Last February, eight Filipino prisoners, seven males and one female, were also granted pardon by Sabah Governor Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Haji Mahiruddin.
They committed the crime of drug trafficking when they were minors. The crime is punishable by death. They were in jail for 21 to 26 years. Because of their age that time, they were not meted the death sentence, but instead imprisoned “under the pleasure of the governor.”
“Their release brought much joy to the Filipinos and their families who waited for their homecoming for over 20 years,” the embassy said.
In November 2014, the embassy sent letter of appeals to the Sabah Governor to intercede for the eight Filipinos, as well as for other Filipinos in jail in Sabah.
The last execution of a Filipino in Malaysia was 22 years ago, in June 1993, when a Filipino was executed for the crime of murder in Sabah.