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China Executes Two Filipinos for Drug Trafficking, DFA Confirms

Manila, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines has confirmed the execution of two Filipino nationals in China for drug trafficking offenses. The DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza, citing the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou, revealed on Saturday that the executions were carried out on November 24, but the identities of the two individuals were withheld at the request of their families.

According to Philippines News Agency, the Philippine government had made extensive efforts, including high-level political representations, to appeal to the Chinese government for the commutation of the death sentences to life imprisonment. However, these appeals were unsuccessful as the Chinese government, adhering to its internal laws, maintained the death sentences. Daza stated that the Philippines respects China's criminal laws and legal processes, emphasizing that the appeals were in line with Philippine laws and values that prioritize human life.

The DFA provided legal assistance to the convicted individuals since their arrest in Guangdong in 2013, throughout their trial, and during various appeals. The final verdict was confirmed by the High People's Court of the province in 2018. The two Filipinos were arrested for possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), totaling 11.872 kilograms, concealed in DVD players in their luggage.

Daza also mentioned that the Philippine government supported the families of the executed individuals, including facilitating a compassionate visit to Guangzhou using the DFA Assistance to Nationals Fund. She extended condolences to the families and assured respect for their privacy.

The DFA delayed announcing the executions until formal notification was received from the Chinese authorities. Daza reiterated the Philippines' commitment to combating drug trafficking and warned Filipinos against becoming unwitting drug mules for syndicates exploiting socio-economic vulnerabilities.

Of the 92 Filipino death penalty cases in China, 91 have been for drug-related offenses. Daza noted that two cases were commuted to life imprisonment, and 86 received fixed-term sentences. With these recent executions, two death penalty cases involving Filipinos in China are still pending final review.

Daza emphasized that while the Philippine government will continue to assist its nationals overseas, the laws and sovereign decisions of foreign countries will ultimately prevail in such cases.