Filipina drug mule may be executed anytime now


MANILA, Philippines—The Filipino woman caught smuggling drugs into China may be executed Tuesday or Wednesday, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official said on Monday, even as the government appealed for prayers while awaiting China’s response to the Philippines’ plea that her life be spared.

DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said a note verbale that the Chinese government had sent to the Philippine mission in Shanghai indicated that the execution could be carried out within seven days after receipt of the notice.

China’s Supreme People’s Court handed down on June 26 its decision to uphold a lower court’s death sentence on the woman for drug trafficking. Citing a report from Philippine Consul General in Shanghai Charles Jose, Hernandez said the Philippine government received the note verbale around June 27.

Hernandez said the woman’s relatives, accompanied by Philippine officials, had been allowed to see the 35-year-old for the last time at Zhejiang Detention Center in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China on Monday morning.

“The family visited our kababayan (compatriot) at 10 [a.m. in the] morning… and was able to talk to [her] for 30 minutes… This will be the only time that the family would be allowed to talk to [her] in that detention center,” Hernandez said in a press briefing on Monday.

“They have not been informed of the date of execution yet,” he added.

The family had flown to China on Sunday, according to the office of Vice President Jejomar Binay, the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ concerns.

Separate male prison

The family was also scheduled to visit the woman’s cousin, who is similarly detained for drug trafficking in a separate male prison in Zhejiang.

The pair were arrested at the international airport in Hangzhou in January 2011 for each carrying more than 6 kilos of heroin. They had flown in as tourists but were known to have been recruited by a Nigerian man to smuggle drugs from Dubai through Hong Kong, and then into China.

Both were sentenced to death, but the male cousin was given a two-year reprieve within which to reform and qualify for the commutation of his sentence to life.

18 smuggling incidents

The DFA had earlier explained that the woman remained on death row, as she was known to have led the operation, and that evidence tagged her in 18 other smuggling incidents between 2008 and 2011. Chinese authorities said that she had earned between $3,000 and $4,000 for each successful trip.

Hernandez said the government was still waiting for China’s response to President Aquino’s letter of appeal sent last week seeking commutation of the woman’s death sentence to life.

China had stopped Binay’s planned trip to Beijing on Sunday to personally appeal for the woman’s life. The Vice President quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry as saying that “now would not be a convenient time” to receive Binay.

Call for prayers

Unable to fly to China, Binay instead called on the public to pray for the woman.

“Let us continue praying that our appeal for a stay in our compatriot’s execution would be considered. Our President is appealing that her penalty be commuted to life imprisonment,” Binay said in a statement.

Asked what the DFA made of China’s decision not to receive Binay, Hernandez said: “I don’t want to speculate as to what kind of message they are sending to us by that decision, but it has been clear that China is very strict with the implementation of their laws regarding drug trafficking. We have also said that we respect their laws and the decisions of their courts.”

The Philippines and China are locked in a tense dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Just over the weekend, China had warned of a “counterstrike” against the Philippines and accused the latter of “internationalizing” the issue. This prompted the DFA to call out China for “provocative” threats and to seek its compliance with international law that advocates a peaceful resolution of disputes among countries.

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  • maung aye

    Hang all Chinese who were caught operating drug laboratories in the Philippines. That is what you have to work on Mr . Vice pres. Binay, not appeal for the lives of Filipino criminals !

  • 56u4puvv

    sometime in may of this year in macau, three pinoys were also caught with amount full of drugs. two beautiful ladies and a man. just could not imagine the outlook of these ladies are like actress to which you can not point them as drug mules. in fact more pinoys (men and women) are languishing in jail in related to drugs case but they are not discussed by our government. perhaps its the right to put an end of rescuing drug mules in the country where they being caught so that lesson can be serve.

  • Ako_Hiking

    The Aquino Administration’s message to her is probably…well nothing. It’s not like Aquino can do anything anymore or will try to do anything anymore. First of all Aquino has been terrible regarding international issues and second of all if it does not concern Aquino, or his KKK, or his relatives, or his land, or his hometown, then good luck to get him to care.

    • Jake Lopez

      I don’t think the President whether it is Pnoy or anybody else has to beg the Chinese to spare the life of a drug pusher. We should have learned our lesson..marami ng nabibitay sa drugs, yet our OFWs would still risk being caught and sentenced to die for a pocketful of dollars. Besides, the Chinese will likely ask something in return. Naaawa tayo sa buhay ng drug pusher na Pinay, papaano naman yung mga buhay ng mga addicted sa drugs? yung mga namamatay na addicts?

      • Ako_Hiking

        Pnoy ejoys comparing himself to GMA so this is a comparison that maybe he should take a look at…that at least GMA was able to appeal to foreign leaders to spare Filipinos abroad where as Pnoy not only failed but was even ignored.

  • Ernie Aldea

    Those Filipino drug mules in my opinion should be executed as long as we execute all those Chinese people who committed drug related crimes in the Philippines. There should be no mercy!

  • sasama

    bat galit kayu sa beho? eh executed din mga kapwa beho nila tapos harvested pa yung internal organ!!

  • sigena

    dapat kunan ng picture pag execute tapos ipaskil sa airport na hwag tularan

  • randyaltarejos

    The NAIA general manager must be made answerable to P-Noy every time it was found out that the Pinoy drug mule passed through the NAIA. Nobody else.

  • disqusted0fu

    Obviously the Chinese president is not going to listen to Pnoy. What goes around comes around.The bully in the PH is being bullied by leaders of stronger countries. But the drug mule doesn’t have anything to do with Pnoy anyway… so why should he be affected?

  • eric_santiago1

    the real tragedy here is that she won’t be the last. there is always somebody who will be the next drug mule because he/she thinks he/she is smarter, more careful, and can get away with it.

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