MANILA — With Malaysia’s Federal Court upholding death sentences of nine Filipinos accused of waging war against its monarch, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said they were now initiating the appeal for clemency, the country’s “highest diplomatic appeal.”
“Right now, we have a delegation from the Philippine post and they are going for the diplomatic remedy in getting a pardon from the king,” Raul Dado, executive director for DFA-Office of Migrant Workers Affairs Office said in a phone interview.
According to state-run Bernama, Malaysia’s Federal Court on January 15 upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals, which meted death on the nine Filipinos last year for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong over the Lahad Datu intrusion in 2013.
“We are of the view the convictions against them were safe,” Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif was quoted as saying.
The nine involved were Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54, son of the late Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram; Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada Mohamad Alam Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 64; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad H. Manuel, 42; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al-Wazir Osman, 62, and Ismail Yasin, 77.
Throughout the trials, Dado said all accused had been assisted and represented by Datuk Sivanathan, an International Criminal Court-certified lawyer.
Asked when the delegation is scheduled to request the Malaysian ruler’s audience, Dado said no information was provided yet but assured they still have “a lot of time within the month.” (PNA)