KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/29 April) — The municipal council of Magpet has urged President Aquino to appeal to the government of Iran for a retrial of the case of one of their constituents who went to Iran as a tourist but ended up as a drug mule.
In a resolution, the council said Ernie Guinoo Tamonde of Barangay Noa, who was incarcerated in Mashhad, Iran since January 2010, had no lawyer.
“Due to Mr. Tamonde’s gullibility and unfamiliarity with the modus operandi of drug syndicates in Iran, he might have implicated himself in a crime he did not commit,” said the resolution.
The council also expressed fears that Tamonde has no contact with the Philippine embassy in Iran.
Three weeks ago, the municipal government wrote to Vice President Jejomar Binay asking him to help secure Tamonde’s freedom. But Binay has not responded yet.
Last week, Senator Francis Escudero met with Tamonde’s elder sister Emmie in Davao City where he promised to shoulder the expenses for her travel to Iran.
Escudero wanted Emmie to see his brother in Iran and at the same time assured the relatives he would include Tamonde’s case as among his priority concerns.
Tamonde, in his letter addressed to friends, said that while in Iran, an Iranian national befriended and later asked him to bring a clothe to a friend in Thailand.
At the airport however he was arrested for possession of heroin which was allegedly tucked in the dress he was bringing. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)