Filipino relatives of drug smugglers to China are implored by China's ambassador to Manila to understand why these so-called "scourge of society" must be executed by lethal injection and that while he commiserates with the families the verdicts will push through "sooner or later" in consonance with Chinese laws.
That they are a scourge of society was the phrase used by the Chinese embassy in Manila to announce the finality of the verdict.
Ambassador Liu Jintao also said that other than the deferment of the original dates of February 21 and 22 to still-unscheduled times, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, 32, Ramon Credo, 42, and Elizabeth Batain, 38, can no longer opt for reprieve, clemency or commutation.
"I would like to confirm that the three criminals who have been sentenced to death are at the moment still alive. But the verdict is the final verdict. So the penalty will be carried out sooner or later and everything will be done in accordance with the law in China," Liu told the press.
"The verdict of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) is final and executory," he told a press briefing on Thursday.
He posed a plea to Filipino families whose relatives engage in drug trafficking in China to understand that drug traffickers destroy Filipinos as well as the Chinese people. He asked for respect of Chinese laws against heroin smuggling, wherein at least 50 grams could lead to 15 years to life in prison or death.
"These drug traffickers are not only victimizing the Chinese people, they are also victimizing the Filipino people," he stressed.
The SPC of China had upheld lower courts' sentence for the three, who separately smuggled a total 15,323 grams or more than four kilograms each of heroin into Xiamen and Shenzhen in southern China in 2008.
In the case of the three, the amount they carried was "way beyond, way beyond," thus the severity of the verdict, said Liu.
Pointing out that the situation in Filipino drug-smuggling on the China route is "really, really bad," Liu emphasized on Thursday:"I don’t want to link this (execution) case with the general relations between China and the Philippines because I don't want to see our wonderful relationship being kidnapped by these drug criminals."
He emphasized that trade and investment relations between the two countries have surged ahead, and any differences are outweighed by cooperation and dialogues.
Liu also said that "sooner or later" the executions would push through and nothing more would prevent them -- "the issue is not on China's agenda on the visit," Liu added.
He believes the highest officials of "the Philippine Government already "have a very, very good and clear understanding of Chinese laws," as a February 18 Joint Statement between Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and top Chinese officials show.
Binay had gone off to China on a last-ditch appeal for clemency and was informed of the postponement "that considered the sentiments of the Philippine side yet within the purview of Chinese laws."
He did not elaborate, but noted that Manila is now "waiting for what Beijing will do next (the undated execution). I'm sure they (officials) understand this." When the time comes, the Philippine embassy in Beijing will be informed, he said.
This would be the first execution of Filipinos in China. Nationals of the United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Mongolia and Afghanistan have been executed under China's stiff anti-drugs-smuggling laws.
He rued that there has been no decline in incidents of Filipinos involved in drug smuggling, "but without the efforts (of Philippine authorities), the number could have grown at a faster rate. The rate is alarming."
Since Binay's return from China, the DFA has not announced any new drug convictions and decisions by the Supreme People's Court of China.
DFA records show that 78 Filipinos have been meted the death penalty in China, and 72 of the cases carry death sentences with a two-year reprieve that could be commuted with good behavior while in prison.
"I know the Philippine government has been showing tremendous concern over these drug traffickers who have been sentenced to death. I share your values and I know that the Philippine people put a lot of stress on human lives so do the Chinese," Liu said in commiseration.
'But at the same time I think more concern should be shown to the people who have been victimized by these drug traffickers. If you see mothers who have lost their son, families break up, wife and husband separate, prostitutes take drugs, boys who take money to use drugs, you will see the necessity to deter drug trafficking and curb these criminal activities in China," the envoy explained.
Starting in 2007, he said, "there has been a tremendous increase of drug traffickers to China and making it more necessary that these crimes are curbed and deterred and that laws should be applied."
"The situation is really really bad," he stressed. Taking away the lives of traffickers is not the purpose per se, of these death verdicts, according to Liu, but the deterrence and curbing of drug-smuggling as a crime "so that people know that such crimes can carry such harsh punishment. And when you deter such criminal acts and behavior, the people of other countries will enjoy a better life," he said
Whats On Xiamen , Inc
20 Mar 2011
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