MANILA, Philippines – Three Filipinos will be meted out with the death sentence next week for drug trafficking charges in China.
In a press statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the death penalty will be carried out against the following:
- a 42-year-old male who was convicted for smuggling 4,113 grams of heroin on December 28, 2008 in Xiamen;
- a female, 32, convicted for smuggling 4,110 grams of heroin on December 24, 2008 also in Xiamen; and,
- a female, 38, convicted for smuggling 6,800 grams of heroin on May 24, 2008 in Shenzhen.
ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol was able to interview the mother of one of the women scheduled to be executed next week.
Mrs. Edith Ordinario said she can hardly sleep and is deeply concerned about the fate of her daughter, Sally Ordinario Villanueva, in China.
Mrs. Ordinario of Echague, Isabela province said she was summoned by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for important news about her daughter.
Sally was sentenced to death after being caught with 4 kilos of heroin in Xiamen on December 24, 2008.
“Nagulantang ako noong sinabi nilang February 21 ma-execute ang anak ko. Gumuho ang mundo ko talaga, di ko na kaya," said Mrs. Ordinario.
Ma appeals to PNoy
Mrs. Ordinario appealed to President Benigno Aquino III to help spare her daughter.
“Tulungan ninyo naman kami! Ikaw lang ang pag-asa namin President Noynoy Aquino. Tulungan mo ang anak ko doon na biktima ng drug syndicate, walang kaalam-alam. Mabait yung anak ko,” she said.
She maintained that her daughter was a victim of a drug syndicate and illegal recruiter.
Sally started working as a domestic helper in Macau in 2006. When her contract ended, she went back to the Philippines but was again recruited to work as a cell phone store helper in China.
Before the mother of 2 left for China, her recruiter told her to bring a luggage for their boss.
“May maletang ipapadala sa kanya para ibalik sa amo, parang ganun. Pero walang kaalam-alam ang anak ko na may laman pala yun, drugs,” she said.
Sally was only able to send 2 letters to her husband and children during her 2 years in jail and while her case was being tried in court in Xiamen.
In her last letter, Sally seemed happy and conveyed her love and longing for her family.
“Kawawa yung dalawang apo ko. Walang kaalam-alam sa nangyari sa nanay nila na ganyan. Mababalitaan mo mae-execute na anak mo, ilang araw na lang gahol na kami sa oras,” a crying Mrs. Ordinario said.
DFA seeks commutation of sentence
“I can assure you na hanggang ngayon, dahil yun ang utos ng ating pangulo, patuloy ang ating engagement with the Chinese authorities,” said DFA Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr.
The DFA said the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in Beijing has reviewed and decided on 5 cases of Filipinos sentenced to death by courts in the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong for drug trafficking.
The DFA said the SPC sustained the lower courts’ decisions against the 3 Filipinos, and the death sentences will be carried out in accordance with Chinese law.
The two other Filipinos earlier meted the death penalty were given two-year reprieves.
Under Chinese law, the original verdict may be commuted to life imprisonment if the prisoner displays good behavior while incarcerated. Also, smuggling of 50 grams or more of heroin or equivalent drugs is punishable by death.
The Philippine government has provided assistance to the 3 Filipinos to ensure that their legal rights were observed and their welfare protected from the time of their arrest and throughout the judicial process. Their families were also informed of the SPC’s decision.
The DFA expressed its “grave disappointment” and sadness at this turn of events. Despite this, the government is still conducting representations for possible commutation of the death sentences.
Filipino overseas workers and travelers are urged not to fall victims to international drug syndicates. The DFA said travelers should not agree to carry any luggage for strangers or bring packages from dubious individuals in exchange for money. -- -- With reports from Jay Ruiz and Henry Omaga-Diaz, ABS-CBN News