Court upholds Filipino drug sentences

A court of appeals has upheld a life imprisonment and a 20-year jail term to two citizens of the Philippines for illegally bringing heroin into Vietnam.

The Court of Appeals of the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City handed down the life sentence on John Lopez Diemsen, 49, and the 20-year imprisonment on Raquel Malayao Ramos, 33, at a trial on January 18.

The duo was sentenced by the People’s Court of the southern province of Tay Ninh on September 30, 2010.

According to the Tay Ninh Provincial People’s Court’s verdict, both men planned to traffic heroin from Cambodia to Vietnam and then to the Philippines in July, 2009.

On August 8, 2009, Raquel went to Cambodia to receive the banned goods that were already ordered. However, he was caught red-handed the same day at Long Beach Plaza Hotel.

Raquel’s case was immediately notified to Vietnam’s police to enable them to arrest Diemsen in Tay Ninh province on August 11, 2009 when he received five packages of yellow powder weighting 847.2 grams. The powder was tested and found to contain heroin.

VNA