MANILA (Mabuhay) — The State Pardons Board in Selangor, Malaysia has commuted the death penalty imposed on a Filipina to life imprisonment, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said Tuesday.
A statement from the embassy said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, chairman of the State of Selangor Pardons Board, revised the sentence meted on Jacqueline Quiamno on June 15, following a request for clemency from the Philippine Embassy and her family.
Malaysian authorities arrested Quiamno in June 2005 for attempting to smuggle five kilograms of cocaine at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, on the bidding of an African drug syndicate based in Hong Kong.
In November 2010, the Shah Alam High Court found Quiamno guilty of the charge. The Federal Court then affirmed the verdict in July 2013.
The Philippine Embassy said the commutation of Quiamno’s sentence should bring relief for three other Filipinos on Malaysian death row — Gerry Saavedra Quijano and couple Timhar and Nurie Ong — who were also arrested for drug smuggling in 2008 and 2005, respectively.
“Although the death penalty remains in the statute books of Malaysia, and local courts continue to impose it in grave offenses, there has been a reluctance to carry out the death penalty, or undertake execution, in recent years,” the Philippine Embasy said.
In February, Sabah Governor Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Haji Mahiruddin also granted pardon to eight Filipinos after remaining behind bars for 21 to 26 years for trafficking drugs.
In October 2012, the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Department vowed to look at staying death sentences for drug offenders pending the government’s final decision on the abolition of the mandatory death penalty.
The last execution of a Filipino in Malaysia happened 22 years ago, for the crime of murder in Sabah, according to the Philippine Embassy. (MNS)