China Executes 3 Filipino Drug Mules

The Philippine government’s efforts to save the lives of three Filipinos convicted of smuggling drugs into China have proven unsuccessful, as the Chinese government executed them on Wednesday by lethal injection.

Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Ramon Credo, and Elizabeth Batain were arrested in 2008 for carrying at least four kilograms of heroin. They were convicted and sentenced to death in 2009 and was originally scheduled to be executed in late February this year. Their execution was stayed by more than a month following a plea from the Philippine government. This time, however, Manila’s request that the convicts be given clemency fell on deaf ears.

Ordinario-Villanueva, 32, and Credo, 42, were allowed to meet their families for the last time before the executions were carried out in the port city of Xiamen. Batain, 38, also met her family hours before she was put death in the city of Shenzen.

Vice-President Jejomar Binay, who was tasked by President Benigno “Nonoy” Aquino III to lead efforts to save the three Filipinos, said the government did everything it could to spare the lives of the convicted drug mules. “Until the last moment, we did everything we could to save the three,” Binay said in a television interview from Qatar. “It is a sad day for all of us.”