Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Another Filipino drug mule, a 35-year-old man who was arrested in September 2008 for allegedly trying to smuggle 1.5 kilograms of heroin into Guangxi province in Southern China from Malaysia, is scheduled to be executed on December 8. As the accused was convicted by the High People’s Court of the Guangxi Autonomous Region and the sentence were affirmed by China’s Supreme People’s Court, current efforts by the Philippine government to stop the execution will most likely yield the same results as in the previous cases of convicted Filipino drug mules: the best that the family of the condemned convict can hope for would probably be a postponement of the execution.
If the best our government can do about this problem is to constantly plead with China to be merciful towards Filipinos who have been consciously, or unconsciously, duped by drug cartels, and commute death sentences into life imprisonment, or send family members of the convicted drug trafficker at the government’s expense to China so they can spend time with him just before he is executed by lethal injection; then this is a problem that will never go away.
Hopefully, the Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in China are remnants of a time when Filipinos were either more desperate or gullible, when it came to being approached by strangers and being offered to be couriers of unknown goods for an attractive fee. Because, even without too much effort from the Philippine government, the executions of convicted drug mules this year should have drilled into the minds of Filipinos the risks and consequences of hauling dubious contraband across international borders. Considering the government resources that have been poured into the appeals for the lives of these convicted drug mules and the taxpayer’s money that has gone into the airfares and accommodations of family members in order to give the impression that this government cares about its people; we can only hope that the same effort and resources have also been spent in making sure that Filipinos all over the world have been adequately educated and warned of the perils of drug trafficking so that there are no more similar cases in the future.*