MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Noli de Castro on Thursday expressed optimism that Filipino worker May Vecina's death sentence may be commuted following an appeal from the Spanish government.
In a radio interview, De Castro said based on communication with Spanish officials, the Emir of Kuwait has agreed to commute Vecina's sentence. He, however, noted that the Philippine government has not received confirmation on the sentence commutation from the Kuwaiti government.
De Castro said the development stemmed from an informal request made by the King of Spain during a recent visit to Kuwait.
"Na-involve ang Spain sa pakikipagusap din. Pumunta ang King of Spain sa Kuwait para makiramay. Nabanggit niya... at inaprubahan ng Emir (Spain got involved in the efforts to save Vecina. The King of Spain went to Kuwait to condole with the emir over the death of former Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Abdullah al-Sabah. He mentioned the matter to Kuwaiti Emir Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, who approved the request)," De Castro said in an interview on dzXL radio.
Citing information he obtained from Foreign Affairs Sec. Alberto Romulo, De Castro said Vecina's sentence may be commuted, though there is no official announcement yet.
He said Romulo received a call on the matter from the Spanish Foreign Minister Wednesday night.
"Ang report baka ma-commute uli. Wala pang confirmation (The report is that the sentence will likely be commuted, but there is no official confirmation yet)," De Castro said.
De Castro noted that an official announcement may not be due until February next year, when Kuwait marks its national day.
With this development, De Castro appealed for prayers for Vecina and her family. "I-follow up natin ng dasal (Let's just follow this up with our prayers)," he said.
Earlier this month, De Castro made a pitch for Vecina when he visited Kuwait to relay the Philippines' condolences for the death of its former emir.
The Kuwaiti Supreme Court had upheld Vecina's death penalty for killing her employer's youngest son in January 2007.
During his visit, De Castro said, he was "granted 10 precious minutes with the highest Kuwaiti official regarding relevant issues that included the fate of Vecina." - GMANews.TV