Malaysia’s pardons board has commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence on a Filipino woman convicted of smuggling 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine at Kuala Lumpur’s airport, the Philippine Embassy in the Malaysian capital said on Tuesday.
The embassy said the pardons board of the central state of Selangor, headed by Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, on June 15 commuted Jacqueline Quiamno’s sentence following clemency requests from the embassy and her family.
The good news comes as the fate of another Filipino woman on death row in Indonesia for illegal drugs remains unclear. Mary Jane Veloso’s execution on April 29 was postponed after appeals by the Philippines to allow her to testify against her arrested illegal recruiters.
Quiamno was arrested in 2005 and the Shah Alam High Court handed her a guilty verdict in November 2010. The verdict was affirmed by the Federal Court in July 2013. The embassy, in a statement, conveyed “its heartfelt appreciation to the Sultan of Selangor and the Selangor Pardons Board for this sterling manifestation of benevolence and compassion.”
The death penalty remains in the statute books of Malaysia, and local courts continue to impose it in grave offenses. But the embassy said there has been a reluctance to carry it out in recent years pending the government’s final decision on the proposal to abolish capital punishment.