Lessons to keep on Chinese court verdict vs 3 Pinoys

ONE lesson we have learned from our last-ditch appeal for clemency for three Filipino death convicts is the “non-negotiability” of court verdicts in China.

As we have expected China was only amenable for postponement of the execution of the three Filipinos sentenced to death for drug smuggling. Their death verdict stays.

The deferment was made after Vice President Jejomar Binay flew to Beijing the other day to appeal for leniency on humanitarian grounds for the three Filipinos.

Binay announced  after talking to the Chief Justice of the Chinese Supreme People’s Court that the court decided to postpone the executions “within the scope of Chinese law.’’

The Chinese government on its part said its unprecedented decision to postpone the execution of three Filipino death convicts resulted from a serious consideration of a friend’s request.

We have also learned from China’s strong stance its determination to abolish drug trade and curb use of illegal drugs in China.

This appeared clear to us after Beijing declined to arrange a phone communication between Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Benigno Aquino III, because of “finality” and “irrevocability” of decision of its court sentencing the three to death.

It now appears that what can only be negotiated upon is deferment of the execution for the three Filipinos and not reversal or commutation of their death sentences.

Binay also discussed with Chinese leaders drug-related cases of around 200 Filipinos in Chinese jails. About 70 Filipinos have been sentenced to death but given two-year reprieves.

Ramon Credo, 42, and Sally Villanueva, 32, were scheduled for execution today (Monday) in the southern city of Xiamen, while Elizabeth Batain, 38, was supposed to be put to death tomorrow (Tuesday) in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. They were arrested separately in 2008 for smuggling 4,000 to 6,000 grams of heroin.

Binay left for Beijing Thursday morning to meet with the president (chief justice) of Supreme People’s Court and China’s executive vice foreign minister after the Chinese government took into serious consideration the sentiments of President Benigno Aquino III and the Filipino people.

The gravity of the drug-trafficking problem calls for crackdown on illegal drug syndicates using OFWs as “drug mules” or couriers. It also calls for urgent information drive to expose modus operandi of these drug syndicates to prevent other OFWs, who are either wittingly or unwittingly used by these groups, from being victimized.

Filipinos must be informed that unlike in the Philippines, Chinese laws are harsh when it comes to drug-trafficking. It’s heinous crime in China.

Pres. Aquino  walks the right path on controversial  RH bill

President Benigno Aquino III did the right thing in delisting from his Administration’s top priority bills the controversial Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill), strongly opposed by the Catholic Church as anti-life and pro-abortion.

Without delving on its substance or its merits and demerits, we find the RH Bill not only divisive but also counter-productive because it opens new battle front for the administration to pay attention to, instead of focusing only on more urgent problems of the state for the common good.

In our humble views, the Administration stands to lose more than to gain in pushing its passage at a time where unity is badly needed to achieve peace and economic uplift of the people as Mr. Aquino has envisioned it.

For our own sake, let’s spend our energy for making laws that unite us, and not divide us, in conformity with the objectives of peace talks and reconciliations with New People’s Army and Filipino Muslim rebels in the South.

The moral influence of the Church among its members that comprised 80 percent of the population can’t be underestimated. If the bill is passed into law, the Administration will lose one of its strongest allies and supporters.-Cornelio de Guzman


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