Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aquino on Nobel boycott: Clemency for 5 Filipinos on China's death row

This report belies the rumors that the Philippines had made a last-minute decision to send a representative to attend the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo to honor the Chinese freedom fighter, Liu Xiabo, who is serving 11 years jail term.
In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, President Benigno Aquino III said that the decision to join the Chinese-led boycott of the Nobel rites on 10 December was to advance the interest of the Filipino citizens' first.
The President did not want to put at risk the efforts done so far for the five Filipinos who were charged to death for drug offences in China. At this time, there are four female and one male Filipinos who are detained in Beijing.
Aquino said that he had already sent a communication to the Chinese capital seeking forgiveness for the five offenders.
The bachelor president also said he wants a "closure" of the botched Manila hostage crisis that killed eight Hong Kong nationals, which strained the Philippines' relations with China and Hong Kong.
The president stressed that the Philippine government is still committed to human rights.
He also expressed concern for the Filipinos who are caught in the Korean peninsula where China is actively mediating between the two nations.
The Aquino government received much criticisms from human rights advocates for the "no show" in Oslo.
In addition to the Philippines and China, 17 other countries did not participate the Nobel ceremonies due to pressure from Beijing.
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