Wednesday, July 3, 2013

China executes 35-year old Filipina drug mule

Executing drug traffickers in China
Manila: China has executed a 34-year old Filipina drug mule who was convicted of drug trafficking in 2011, prompting waves of condolences aired on radio and TV to her family in the Philippines.

“It is with profound sadness that we confirm that our Filipina [compatriot] was executed in China this morning,” said Raul Hernandez, spokesman of foreign affairs department.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was allowed to meet briefly with her family members who travelled to Shanghai on July 1, ahead of her execution on July 3, said Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The relatives wanted her body to be cremated, said Binay, adding they also asked for privacy.

The identity of the family was never leaked to the media.

In response, President Beningo Aquino’s deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said the execution of the Filipina in China “should be a lesson for all overseas Filipina workers”.

“They should not be tempted by members of drug syndicates that promise big money for drug trafficking.” said Valte.

In 2011, the woman and her male cousin were arrested for attempting to smuggle heroin to China, The man was given a two year reprieve.

Last week, China did not allow Binay to send a letter of appeal from Philippine President Aquino, to China’s President Xi Jinping, for the commutation of the Filipina’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

Aquino’s letter appealed for clemency on humanitarian grounds.

Last March 30, 2011, OFWs Ramon Credo, 42, Sally Villanueva, 32, and Elizabeth Batain, 38, were executed by lethal injection in Xiamen and Shenzhen, following their arrest for drug trafficking in 2008 and conviction in 2009.

In December 2011, China also executed a Filipino, whose name was not released, for drug trafficking,

They were the first to be executed among a total of 72 OFWs who were sentenced to death for drug trafficking in China, Manila’s foreign affairs said.

China has been criticised by Amnesty International for punishing by death the smuggling of more than 50 grams of illegal drugs.

Philippine officials said they respect China’s implementation of its law against drug trafficking.

The Philippines has also a similar campaign, but it has not convicted drug lords and pushers.

The Philippine Congress has already amended a law that allowed state execution and death sentence.

Ties between China and the Philippines have been soured by overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

Source: Gulf News, July 3, 2013