read and weep

March 30, 2011 at 1:02 am 11 comments


while i was in the philippines early this month, the plight of three filipinos, sentenced to death in china for drug trafficking, was headline news. the philippine government, led by vice-president jejomar binay, made a valiant effort in appealing their convictions on humanitarian grounds. but it was for naught. after a temporary stay, the death sentences of ramon credo, elizabeth batain, and sally villanueva were carried out today.

my deepest sympathies go to the families that they left behind. only those who had suffered a loss could experience the sorrow that they are feeling right now. but life goes on. i just hope that they would have the courage to face the future without them.

ed malaya, foreign ministry spokesman, said that there are more than 500 filipinos languishing in foreign jails on drug-related cases. in china alone, more than 200 filipinos are jailed for drug-trafficking. among this number, 70 or so have already received the death sentence.

it would be hard to believe that they didn’t know what they were doing. perhaps it was the lure of easy money that made them do it. but it’s also possible that they had been duped and became unwitting victims of international drug syndicates operating in the philippines today.

it may not be long when the next ramon credo, elizabeth batain, and sally villanueva would be on deck for execution. when that time comes, would the philippine government exert the same time and effort to save them? what about the ones that follow? and the ones after that? darn, is our government digging a hole it can’t get out?

there’s something quixotic, if not admirable, on the way the philippine government handled the case of the doomed filipinos. although china remained adamant in its decision to execute them in accordance with chinese laws, our officials didn’t give up until the end in appealing for their lives.

it’s reassuring that our overseas foreign workers can rely on the government for assistance even if they have committed a crime such as drug trafficking. at the same time, the government should take the necessary actions to prevent it from happening in the first place. this can be done by making the public aware of the consequences of drug trafficking, ensuring that drug mules like ramon credo, elizabeth batain, and sally villanueva are caught right at our airports, and stepping up government efforts against drug syndicates and putting their members in jail.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, commentary, filipino, philippines. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Pepot  |  March 30, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I am sorry to say but our politicians and the media made a circus out of this tragedy. May they rest in peace.

    • 2. plaridel  |  March 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm


      think it this way, by going full court press, the whole nation got engaged in support of the doomed filipinos. it might have been thought that it would help save their lives. unfortunately, china didn’t blink.

      by the way, when the batain family asked to respect their privacy, it was granted.

      thanks for visiting.

  • 3. KZ  |  March 31, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I also thought it was impossible that they didn’t know what they were doing was illegal. I wonder why the suitcase got out of the Philippines undetected, while it was intercepted in China. We have such a lax security here. I also wonder, what else could the government have done in this case? We have to respect the sovereignty of China. It had its laws and too bad for us, they strictly implement them. I think only a miracle would have intervened here.

    • 4. plaridel  |  March 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      after doing more research on this, i found an abs-cbn news article that quoted teresita ang-see as saying the convicted drug mules knew what they were doing and that they had already done it [drug smuggling] before. this must be the reason why china couldn’t commute their sentences to life. ang-see served as the interpreter between the drug mules and the chinese authorities who investigated their cases.

      yeah, it boggles the mind how they were able to leave the philippines undetected. some naia personnel must be in cahoots with the drug syndicates.

  • 5. crickette  |  April 1, 2011 at 7:35 am

    I understand your point. Instead of always trying to “fix the damage” why can’t the gov’t find a way to prevent these things from happening, instead? It’s always like this. The families cry and plead — then they blame the gov’t for what they weren’t able to do. When Ordinario was executed, I saw the interview with the sister and she had strong words to say against everyone but BINAY, who came to their aid.

    Filipinos always want to find people to blame. It’s frustrating! I feel sad, really, for what had happened to them. Had it happened to me, if I lose a family member like that, I know it would be painful. But drug trafficking is a serious crime. People die and lives are destroyed by drugs… There is no room for leniency.

    Hopefully we’ve learned something about what happened.

    • 6. plaridel  |  April 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm


      as benjamin franklin said, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ sadly, corruption and lax enforcement of our laws get in the way. how many more will have to die before we shape up as a nation?

  • […] Thoughts on the 3 Filipino drug couriers executed in China ( and weep ( Posts:No Related PostsFiled Under: […]

  • 8. Nortehanon  |  April 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I agree with the statements you made in the last paragraph.

    Umn, were they really OFWs as the news often indicated? I think they were holders of tourist visas and not working visas.

    • 9. plaridel  |  April 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm


      yeah, from what i’ve been reading, they went to china on tourist visas. no offense to the folks at naia, but should the fact that they were going by themselves not arouse enough suspicion, most especially to the women? traveling alone in china? call me a male chauvinist, but filipinas aren’t that liberated.

  • 10. sub  |  April 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    i was contemplating about blogging about this “circus” but on a different light. i so agree with crickette, the families of convicted drug mules are too proud in blaming the government for “not doing anything” even digging out flor contemplacion’s case and what happened after media hype has died down.

    3 things, if i may…

    1. would these families thank the government if their love ones have ONCE AGAIN successfully outwit the airport officials for smuggling these drugs? that is a whooping $4000 in cold cash! – the least

    2. we are pleading for their life AS IF they are our UNSUNG heroes, pfft!

    3. it is not the government’s responsibility to see the victims’ offsprings to college. the opportunity is there, they should work for it and must not wait to be spoon fed. kung sarili ko ngang kamag-anak hindi kami tinulungan nung mamatay tatay ko ehh, gobyerno pa kaya?! we are who we chose to be. it is not the government’s fault if we dont have food on our table.

    • 11. plaridel  |  April 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm


      their families are still blaming the government for what happened to them. what else could it have done? even the president himself went after their case. if the government could be blamed, it wasn’t because of its failure to save their lives, but because of its failure to create an environment where drug trafficking isn’t allowed to flourish. dammit, the government can start by enforcing our anti-drug laws.


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