Article by: Denn Reed B. Tuvera Jr.
Three Oversees Filipino Workers were convicted to death via lethal injection last March 30 in Xiamen, China for drug trafficking.
The three OFW’s namely: Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain were charged by the Fujian Provincial People’s Higher Court for smuggling large amounts of heroin.
Before the execution, the families of the convicts were given the chance to see their loved one for the last time. Credo and Villanueva were with their kin Wednesday morning after the Fujian Higher People’s Court allowed the visit.
Villanueva was surprised to see her family for the last time. Then, she requested the Philippine government to ensure that her children will have an education.
On the other hand, Batain’s family visited her in Shenzhen. After the visit, the promulgation of the sentence was held.
Credo and Villanueva were executed in the city of Xiamen while Batain’s sentence took place in Shenzhen.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda confirmed the news. He said the entire nation sympathizes with the family of the convicts.
“The nation sympathized with the families of the condemned, sharing their sense of looming loss. We sympathize with these families now. Their deaths are a vivid lesson in the tragic toll the drug trade takes on entire families,” he said.
Lacierda, in a statement, said the Philippine government took every opportunity to appeal to the authorities in China for the cases of the three. “In the end, however, the sentence was imposed,” he said.
He said Malacañang “is resolved to ensure that the chain of victimization, as pushers entrap and destroy lives in pursuit of their trade, will be broken.”
“Those who traffic in illegal drugs respect no laws, no boundaries, and have no scruples about destroying lives. Our response must be relentless, with government and the citizenry working together to ensure vigilance and mutual support to prevent our countrymen from being used by drug pushers as sacrificial pawns, whether at home or abroad,” he said.
The country witnessed the postponement of the execution last February, hoping that the execution will be null and be cancelled, untill the Chinese President Hu Jin Tao announced that the execution will take place before March ends.
Vice President Jejomar Binay wrote a second letter to President Hu Jin Tao, hoping to prolong the suspension of execution, to no luck.
“Up to the last day, up to the last time, we will be pleading,” Binay told ANC during an interview.
“I appeal to the Chinese government to help us keep Villanueva and the two others alive to enable us to establish beyond any reasonable doubt whether at least one or two or all three of them are mere unwitting couriers, while the real principals are still at large in the Philippines,” the Vice-President said in his letter.
President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III ordered Vice President Binay and Justice Leila de Lima to probe as to why and how Filipino workers involved in drug trafficking can leave the country undetected by airport scanners.
Meanwhile, the recruiter, Tita Cacayan, surrendered to the authorities through the National Bureau of Investigation and spent Friday night with them.
Her reason in Filipino: “I have received many death threats through text messages from people claiming that they are police and NBI.”
Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Mariano questioned both the PNP-CIDG and the NBI for their basis of saying that the woman in-custody was indeed Tita Cacayan.
The NBI held the position “She admitted it to us that she is Tita Cacayan. We have a copy of her passport,” while the representatives from the PNP-CIDG said they do not know because they were not the ones who arrested her.
Cacayan was the alleged recruiter of the late Sally Ordinaryo-Villanueva.
Cacayan said the last time that she saw Villanueva was in 2007-2009 in Macau. She also claimed that she never use any aliases but rather, Tita Cacayan was her real name.