MANILA, Philippines – The execution of a Filipina drug mule in China was the fifth Filipino nationals put to death for drug trafficking since the execution of four Filipinos in 2011.
The 35-year-old Filipina was caught trying to smuggle around six kilograms of heroin in Hangzhou international airport last January 2011.
She was executed Wednesday after the Supreme People’s Court of China upheld the death sentence handed down by lower courts on June 26.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III had sent an appeal letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping to have the death sentence commuted to life imprisonment but the Chinese government did not respond.
Last March 30, 2011, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, 32, Ramon Credo, 42, and Elizabeth Batain, 38, were executed in China also for attempting to smuggle heroin into the country.
A fifth Filipino was executed in December 2011.
They were arrested separately in 2008 for possession of at least four kilos of heroin each and were handed down the death sentence the following year.
The Philippine government appealed repeatedly to have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment, but the Chinese government turned down the appeals.
Most executions in the world
The Dui Hua Foundation, a non-profit organization that advocates for the human rights of detainees, said in a report last December 12, 2011 that China conducted an estimated 4,000 executions in that year.
In an earlier study released in 2010, Dui Hua Foundation said that the number of executions carried out in China were higher.
“Statistics on capital punishment in China are considered state secrets. Lacking official information, international observers are left to make educated guesses about the number of executions in China,” it said.
“In past years, Dui Hua has based estimates of annual executions on discussions with knowledgeable sources. We have estimated that China carried out nearly 5,000 executions in 2009—a slight decrease from 2008,” it said.
Dui Hua said in the same study that a separate research based on collated news reports of executions from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010 showed that there were at least 700 executions in China in 2009.
“After one year, ending on September 30, we recorded exactly 700 executions in China,” the study said.
“This number serves as an absolute minimum number of executions carried out over the year, and tells us nothing about how many actual executions may have taken place. But even using this lowest figure, China still executed more people than any other country in 2009,” it said.