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Chinese authorities have gone through with the controversial execution of three Filipinos. They had been convicted of smuggling drugs into China. Their families were devastated by the news.
Chinese authorities executed three Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking on Wednesday. It came despite a flurry of public appeals for clemency in the Philippines—and just days after Amnesty International slammed Beijing’s sweeping use of the death penalty.
The three were convicted of smuggling several kilos of heroin each into China in 2008.
The Philippine Vice President had sent an appeal to Beijing on Tuesday, asking to keep the Filipinos alive while The Philippines investigated new evidence aimed at proving the innocence of at least one or two of them.
Elizabeth Batain, 38, was executed by lethal injection at a prison in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, 32, and Ramon Credo, 42, were executed in the port city of Xiamen.
Sally Ordinario-Villanueva’s family in Manila could not accept their loss. Her sister Mirasol said she could not even say her goodbyes to Sally since mobile phones were prohibited inside the Xiamen prison. Their plan was to let the family members in the Philippines, including Sally’s two children, to say their last farewells.
[Mirasol Ordinario, Sister of Executed Sally Ordinario]:
“This is the punishment carried out by China. All I can say is that my sister is a human being. She is not an animal. I wish they had listened to our appeals.”
Members of Migrante International, which campaigns for overseas workers’ rights, visited the family home on Wednesday, expressing their condemnation of the execution.
[Garry Martinez, Migrante International Chairman]:
“We’re afraid for our fellow countrymen living in different parts of the world. What if there will no longer be governments who will be understanding towards our countrymen who are facing the same situation?”
The three Filipinos were initially scheduled to be executed last February, but Chinese authorities delayed the execution after the Philippine vice president traveled to Beijing to make an appeal. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs later said the government had exhausted all legal avenues and respected China’s sovereignty over the cases.
More than 200 Filipinos are jailed in China on drugs charges, about one-third of whom have received death sentences. Until today, all of those death sentences had been reprieved.