Remedios “Remy” Penaflor’s involvement consisted of a one-time agreement to transport 2.6 kilos of methamphetamine for $1,500. Her role was that of a “mule” to carry drugs for someone else. She never met the “dealer” but was told by a “recruiter” that she was not supposed to sell or hold on to the drugs once she arrived in Hawaii from the Philippines. She was assured it would be a very simple task with little risk involved. She was told to check a box through the airlines with her luggage and to give the drugs to someone at the airport that would approach her and pay her $1,500. Remy says she is ashamed to admit that she needed the money and agreed to break the law. The drugs were discovered and she was arrested. The person that was supposed to retrieve the box never appeared.
Why Remy Penaflor is requesting clemency
There are several reasons why I believe I should be granted clemency, the most important of which is my beautiful daughter. She was ten when I was arrested and grew up with only a few visits and telephone communication from me. Every day I live with the reality and pain of how much I hurt her by abandoning her and for that I will never forgive myself. I know it is a rare case that receives clemency. If I am so fortunate as to be one of the very few that is granted this great and extraordinary privilege I will do everything in my power to make my daughter proud of me again. I would also like to work within the church and schools to spread the word to others so that no other child will feel the hurt that my daughter has experienced over the last decade. No matter how bad things may be, nothing is worth the allure of so-called fast and “easy money” when it involves breaking the law and jeopardizing one’s family and freedom.
Another reason why I am requesting clemency is due to the fact that my sentence has now surpassed the potential benefits of rehabilitation. There gets to be a point during incarceration when the wear and tear of living in a small cell with two other people starts to outweigh any positive work that an inmate has achieved. I have spent my time educating myself with every available program and much of my time is spent in the religious services available here at the Institution, which can be verified through the Chaplain at F.C.I. Dublin.
In addition, I would like to state that the sentence I received is one that should be reserved for drug “king pins” who actually deal and profit from illegal drugs. I am not trying to minimize my guilt at all. I knew I was breaking the law when I did it, and I should have been punished but I do not believe that over 15 years is a sentence that matches my crime, especially since I have never been in trouble with the law prior to this incident. The big drug dealers prey off of people who are financially desperate. They promise “easy money” for a one-time deal and send people like myself to do their dirty work without explaining the hazards that are likely to occur.
Although I have never had a drug addiction, I have met many people in prison who have suffered from this affliction and I am sincerely sorry that I played any role in that despicable and harmful trade. Likewise, I also think cigarettes are a despicable and harmful drug, so I guess there was a time when I didn’t understand what the “drug war” fuss was all about.
I would like to apologize to President Bush, who was not the President at the time of my crime, yet he inherited my bad act. I apologize to my family, especially my daughter for the disgrace and suffering I have brought into our lives and to the American people.
I have a wonderful family in the Philippines that I horribly miss and yearn to return to.
I hope and pray that the President will find it in his heart to forgive me for my wrongdoing and let me go back to my country. That would be the happiest day of my life.