Philippines Skipped Nobel Over China Death Verdict

President Benigno Aquino III says the Philippines did not send a representative to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony honoring a jailed Chinese dissident because of his efforts to spare Filipinos on death row in China.

Aquino said in an interview published in the Philippine Sunday Inquirer that he must look after the interests of the Filipinos first.

He said he already sent a letter to the Chinese government seeking clemency for five Filipinos sentenced to death for drug trafficking.

Human rights activists said they were shocked and disappointed that the Philippines, one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant democracies, joined China and 16 other countries in boycotting the award in Norway.

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