China executes Filipina drug mule – DFA

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china flagBy Michaela del Callar

MANILA, 3July2013 – Ignoring repeated pleas from the Philippine government, China Wednesday went ahead with the execution of a convicted female Filipino drug mule who was sentenced to death for smuggling large quantities of drugs in 2011, the Dept. of Foreign Affairs said.

The Filipino woman, whose identity was withheld by the DFA in deference to her family’s request for privacy, was executed Wednesday morning by lethal injection in Hangzhou.

“It is with profound sadness that we confirm that our fellow Filipino was executed in China this morning. Arrangements for the repatriation of the remains are being undertaken,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez told a press briefing.

The Filipino, 35, who smuggled 6.198 kilos of heroin, is the fifth convicted drug trafficker to be executed in China in the last two years.

Three Filipinos – two females and one male — were executed in 2011 for smuggling large quantities of prohibited drugs, another Filipino was put to death nine months later for the same offense.

President Benigno S. Aquino III last week sent an appeal letter to Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, asking him to spare the life of the Filipino by commuting her sentence to life imprisonment. Philippine government officials said it did not receive a response from Beijing on President Aquino’s request.

“The Dept. of Foreign Affairs would like to express its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of the Filipino as they mourn the loss of their loved one,” Hernandez said.

“We certainly do not want other Filipino families to go through the same experience.

She was arrested in January 2011 with a male Filipino companion – a cousin – who was caught carrying 6.171 kilos of heroin. He was also given a death sentence but with two-year reprieve, meaning it could be downgraded to life imprisonment if he shows good behavior while in detention.

A person caught in possession of illegal drugs in the amount of more than 50 grams is meted the death penalty in China if convicted.

There are a total of 213 drug-related cases involving Filipino nationals in China.

Of this figure, 28 resulted in death penalty convictions with 2 year reprieve, 67 in life imprisonment and 107 termed imprisonment while 10 are still pending in courts.

In exchange for huge payments, ranging from $ 3,000 to $ 4,000, Filipino women and lately even men are reportedly being hired by West African drug syndicates to smuggle drugs mainly in Asia and South America – sometimes by ingesting it.

“We renew our call on our countrymen to avoid involvement with drug syndicates. Drug trafficking is a criminal act in the Philippines and all over the world.

The life of every Filipino is valuable and we pray that this is the last time that a tragedy like this befalls any of our countrymen,” Hernandez said. (PNA)

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