State assistance sought for drug convict in Manila

Local | Maisy Mok 21 Oct 2020

Lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun is exploring ways to help Hongkonger Tang Lung-wai, who lost his appeal in the Philippines' highest court against his 40-year sentence for drug offenses.

Tse, who has been assisting Tang for more than 10 years, said Tang's Philippines legal representative will apply for a motion of reconsideration to the Supreme Court.

But if that fails, the government should consider several options to help the man. These would include pressing Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for a pardon and seeking Tang's transfer to Hong Kong.

"At this stage, I first want to bring to the government's attention Tang's case so the government can show concern," Tse said. "To provide mental support to Tang, I hope the government can disburse the HK$10,000 cash payout, which he is entitled to as a permanent resident."

Tang, 49, was arrested for drug trafficking in June 2000 and detained 11 years before the case went to court. Despite what was claimed to be a lack of evidence, Tang was convicted of drug trafficking in 2011.

Tang's family members were informed that the appeal, applied for in 2018, had been dismissed by the Supreme Court on September 18.

Tse learned that the Hong Kong government has obtained a copy of the judgment. He will table questions to the government at the Legislative Council meeting today to see whether the government has assessed what follow-up action needs to be taken.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor wrote to Duterte on January 2 last year, urging the Philippines to take heed of the progress in Tang's appeal case.

According to the written questions, Tse asked whether Lam will personally contact the Philippine side to provide further assistance to Tang or urge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China to make contact instead.

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