Four Chinese, two Malaysians and two Taiwanese were among 11 people jailed for life in the Philippines on Friday for illegal drugs, court officials said.
Bao Xiafu, Liu Bo, Tao Fei and Joseph Yu, all Chinese nationals, Malaysians Liew Kam Siong and Siew Ken Wing, and Lin Li Ku and Wu Tiao Yi of Taiwan were found guilty of manufacturing more than half a tonne of metamphetamines.
Cebu city regional trial court judge Marilyn Yap also sentenced their three Filipino co-defendants to life in prison while setting free British passport-holder Hung Chin Chang, also known as Simon Lao.
"This court has considered death as the penalty... due to the presence of aggravating circumstances," Yap said in her written verdict.
However, since the Philippines abolished capital punishment in 2006, two years after their arrest, the 11 would be jailed for life instead, she added. Hung was spared from prison after he agreed to testify against the 11 others, the judge said.
Police raided a warehouse on Cebu's outskirts in September 2004 and arrested 11 of the drug gang members, including all nine foreigners.
The third Filipino, Calvin Tan, described in the suit as the financier of the drug gang, was arrested by Interpol in Hong Kong six days later and handed back to Philippine police.
Police described the 675 kilogrammes (1,488 pounds) of metamphetamine hydrochloride, or ice, that they confiscated along with drug-manufacturing equipment as among the biggest drug busts in Southeast Asia at the time.
The court fined each convict 10 million pesos ($233,427). Tan's lawyer Gloria Dalawampu told reporters they would appeal the sentence. -AFP