[Deathpenalty] [POSSIBLE SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jul 15 00:03:59 CDT 2008
Filipina on death row says she accepts her fate, entrusts her life into
God''s hands ---- May Vecina narrates her story exclusively to Al Watan
May Vecina, a Filipina domestic helper who was sentenced to death for
killing a seven?year?old Kuwaiti boy who was under her care, has written a
letter addressed to Al Watan Daily and GMA Pinoy TV Philippines narrating
her story and explaining what she remembers of that fateful day. The
following are extracts from the letter:
My sincerest greetings to your publication and my gratitude for having
been given the chance to convey my situation here in Kuwait.
My name is May Membrere Vecina, I am twenty?nine years old, and I am
married with two children. I was born in Kilada, Matalan in Cotabato. I
was the youngest among seven brothers and sisters and we grew up as
orphans. I was able to come to Kuwait through a special program launched
by the Philippine President for Mindanao region.
I arrived in Kuwait on March 30, 2006, and began to work as a domestic
helper. My dreams were simple: to take my family out of poverty and give
my children a good education. I came to Kuwait even though my children
were young and bore the pain of being separated from them. I never knew
that such simple dreams would turn into tragedy.
My employer picked me up from agency''s office on April 3, 2006. I had no
idea how hard and tough it would be to work as a domestic helper. I asked
representatives from my local agency to help me get out of the house and
be returned to the agency. Eight replacements were provided by the agency
yet my employer always requested my return to their house. Both my
employers were Arabs and had 7 children. I took care of the needs of the
children and was alone to clean a huge house.
It was on January 7, 2008, when I woke up in the hospital and was
unconscious for two days. I was told that I killed my employer''s
seven?year?old son Salim. I could not move my whole body. My legs were
broken, my back was damaged and had stitches on my head, arms and throat.
I was confined to the hospital for a month and could not walk for 6
months. It was my faith in God and the determination to see my family
again that kept me going.
Security was very tough and no other nationals were allowed to come near
me, even embassy officials were not allowed to communicate with me. From
the ICU, I was transferred to Al?Razi Hospital and no Filipino nationals
were allowed to come close to me. There was even an incident of someone
tried to break through the door and kill me. More security was added to
ensure my safety and I praise and thank the Kuwait government for doing
After some time I was transferred to the Central Prison and it was only at
this time that Philippine Embassy personnel were allowed to visit me. The
Philippine Embassy staff headed by Ricardo Endaya, Ambassador of the
Philippines to Kuwait, exhausted all the available resources to provide
spiritual, moral and legal support for me to be given the chance to go
through the legal process of Kuwait's justice system.
I thank Ambassador Endaya, Vice Consul Rea Oreta, Attorney Tomara Ayo,
Sharia Lawyer, Amy Crisostomo, Welfare Officer and all the staff of the
embassy and OWWA Center in Kuwait. My special thanks also go to Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo, Philippine President and Vice President Noli De Castro
along with Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Workers Welfare
Association, Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines. To all
those who unceasingly pray for me is my endless gratitude for your
kindness and sympathy.
I am 1 of 5 Filipina women who are being charged with murder; they are
Marife Cruzado, Marilou Ranario, Jakatiya Pawa and Minerva Tayag. I was
informed that my case will be very difficult to resolve as I have been
convicted of killing a young innocent boy. I know that the Philippine
government is doing everything within its means to save me from death. I
entrust my life into the hands of God and His mercy.
During my last court proceeding, I was sentenced to death by the judge. I
felt helpless, afraid and greatly saddened; the mere fact that I will be
leaving my family and children in poverty brings me sleepless nights. I
pray that God gives me enough strength and courage to face my fate. I know
that God will not give me trials if I cannot go through them, yet I want
to go home alive and I know my children are praying for me to return to
The only thing I wish for is that people with generous hearts provide for
my family who are suffering greatly in poverty. I pray that they will be
given the chance to survive these trials through your kind help. I hope
that through your publications I will be able to ask for help for my
family in the Philippines. I will never be able to provide for them
anymore and will not see my children grow up. We are poor and I wish to
see my children grow up and secure their education and for my husband to
provide for their daily needs.
As I accept my fate, I beg for your help. Kindly include me in your
prayers and to all Filipinos, take care of yourselves always and God bless
Love and Care,
May Membrere Vecina
(source: Al Watan Daily)
Vietnam may remove death penalty on 12 charges
Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security has proposed abolishing death
penalty on 12 crimes, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Tuesday.
The 12 crimes include appropriating property by fraud; smuggling;
producing and trading fake goods and medical products; being involved in
producing, storing and circulating counterfeit money, bonds and checks;
organizing the illegal use of drugs; hijacking planes or ships;
corruption; taking and giving bribes; destroying army weapons or technical
equipment; being involved in an invasion; anti-human crimes, and those
convicted of war crimes.
The proposal suggests that Article 35 of the Criminal Code, which
stipulates the death penalty for certain felonies, be amended to apply
only those committing the most heinous crimes and people considered to be
a serious danger to the community and the nation's security.
In 1985, the death penalty was applied to 29 crimes. After amendments and
supplements in 1989, 1991 and 1992, the number of charges subject to the
death penalty rose to 44. In 1999, it decreased to 29.
Vietnam sentenced 116 criminals to death in 2006, and 95 in 2007.
Now, 64 countries around the world retain the death penalty, the newspaper
(source: Xinhua News)
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