TWO Filipinos were executed in Guangzhou, China after being convicted of trafficking of 11 kilos of metamphetamine last November 24, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Saturday.
The DFA did not divulge the identities of the two Filipinos, saying the families requested for privacy.
Citing the report of the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou, the DFA said the Filipinos fought a 10-year court battle to escape the death penalty.
“The Government of the Republic of the Philippines exhausted all measures available to appeal to the relevant authorities of the People’s Republic of China to commute their sentences to life imprisonment on humanitarian grounds. There were also high-level political representations in this regard.
“Our repeated appeals were consistent with the laws and values of our nation, which put the highest premium on human life. In the end, the Chinese government, citing their internal laws, upheld the conviction , and the Philippines must respect China’s criminal laws and legal processes,” the DFA said in a statement.
Every possible assistance
THE two Filipinos were traveling from Guandong, China, to another country when they were apprehended for carrying 11.872 kilograms of methamphetamine.
The drugs were hidden in the DVD machine players tucked inside their respective luggage.
The two underwent court trials until 2016 when they were sentenced to death for drug smuggling. Then, their cases were appealed at the High People’s Court in Guandong in 2017, but the high court still upheld the case in 2018.
“From the time the two Filipinos were arrested in 2013, to their criminal trial and on through their various appeals of the lower court’s judgment of conviction in 2016, the Department provided all possible assistance, including legal assistance funding, through the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou and the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs,” the DFA said.
The DFA said it also provided “every possible assistance” to the families of the two Filipinos. Recently, the families were also accompanied in their compassionate visit to Guangzhou, utilizing the Department’s Assistance to Nationals Fund.
The DFA expressed its most sincere condolences to their families and loved ones.
Advice to Filipinos traveling
THERE are 92 Filipino death penalty cases in China. Except for one case, all of Filipinos in death row were charged with drug -cases.
Out of the 92, two cases have been commuted to life imprisonment ; 86 cases have been reduced to fixed term.
With the executions of the two last Sunday, there are two remaining death penalty cases involving Filipino nationals pending final review.
“While we at the Department are saddened by the execution of the two Filipinos, their death strengthens the Government’s resolve to continue our relentless efforts to rid the country of drug syndicates that prey on the vulnerable, including those seeking better lives for themselves and their families.
“Illegal drugs trade remains a scourge that we as a nation must confront. Drug syndicates claim as their victims not only drug addicts, but Filipinos whose socioeconomic conditions render them vulnerable to the lure of these criminals.
“The Department issues this urgent reminder to all Filipinos wishing to travel overseas to be vigilant of the modus operandi of drug syndicates in recruiting unwitting travelers as drug mules, and to refuse to carry any package that you have not personally packed and thoroughly inspected.
“While the Philippine government will continue to exhaust all possible avenues to assist our overseas nationals, ultimately it is the laws and sovereign decisions of foreign countries and not the Philippines which will prevail in these cases,” the DFA said.