‘PH skipped Nobel for the sake of Pinoys on China death row’

As a follow-up to the backlash against the government for boycotting the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony last week, ABS-CBN news reports the following explanation from the palace: Boycott in exchange for (the hope for? this is unclear) clemency of 5 Filipinos on China’s death row:

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III admitted the country did not send a delegate to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony honoring a Chinese democracy activist for the sake of 5 Filipinos on China’s death row.

In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aquino said “our interest [is] to advance our citizens’ needs first.”

Human rights activists lambasted the Aquino administration for boycotting the awards ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. They said such action is very disappointing considering the country’s history in fighting for democracy.

The Philippines is not alone, however. Sixteen others boycotted the ceremony supposedly due to pressures from China.

Aquino stressed the government remains “committed to human rights.”

He said it just does not want to put at risk the efforts done so far for the 5 Filipinos who had been sentenced to death for acting as drug mules. The Filipinos – 1 male and 4 females – are detained in Beijing.

The President noted he had already sent a letter to China asking for clemency for the 5 Filipinos.

Aquino also said the country is aiming for a “closure” with China over the August 23 hostage incident, where 8 Hong Kong residents died.

The hostage crisis has caused diplomatic strains between the 2 nations. The Hong Kong government has voiced out its dismay over the “watered down” penalties that those involved have received.

He also said he was concerned for the safety of the Filipinos who may be caught in the tension between North and South Korea.

China earlier offered to mediate between the 2 Korean peninsulas. China is an ally of North Korea.

Initial reactions to this have ranged from supportive, understanding to disappointed and enraged (comparisons drawn between Liu and Ninoy, drug traffickers should be punished etc.).

What do you think?

Felicity

  • Anonymous

    Was it 4 days ago or was it sent 4 months ago. “Palabas lang iyan!!! Gawa-gawa lang iyong diplomatic letter para nay palusot.” : email. Baka pa nga hindi pa dumarating sa Beijing iyong diplomatic letter asking for the mules to be freed.

    Allegedly, it was Coloma’s idea to use the 5 mules as cover when Noynoy was surprised at the demonstrations and many articles angry at PresNoynoy boycott of the Oslo human rights ceremonies, Coloma had the diplomatic letter sent last week. This “save the mules” is only cover and palusot.

    • if it’s about coloma i unfortunately am inclined to be dubious of any noble action involving him.

  • Anonymous

    Was it 4 days ago or was it sent 4 months ago. “Palabas lang iyan!!! Gawa-gawa lang iyong diplomatic letter para nay palusot.” : email. Baka pa nga hindi pa dumarating sa Beijing iyong diplomatic letter asking for the mules to be freed.

    Allegedly, it was Coloma’s idea to use the 5 mules as cover when Noynoy was surprised at the demonstrations and many articles angry at PresNoynoy boycott of the Oslo human rights ceremonies, Coloma had the diplomatic letter sent last week. This “save the mules” is only cover and palusot.

    • if it’s about coloma i unfortunately am inclined to be dubious of any noble action involving him.