Featured Post

NEVER AGAIN !!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

In China, what the law says stays

Can the Filipino drug mules be saved?
FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) Updated February 19, 2011 12:00 AM

No. I don’t think so. It is clear from the statement issued by the Chinese Embassy that the judgment against the three Filipino drug mules is final.

The Chinese Embassy made that clear in its press release.

“The Chinese law prescribes that any person, no matter that he or she is a Chinese citizen or a foreigner, who commits crime shall be brought to justice in strict accordance with law. No one is privileged to transcend law.”

So that is the first factor to consider, the Chinese take their laws seriously and any deviation from the diktat of the law, as far as they are concerned cannot be tolerated. The punishment for being drug mules might be draconian -execution – but this is their way of combating crime. It is difficult to believe that when they committed the crime they were not aware of what awaited them if they were caught. In my opinion it is not just the Chinese who may benefit from the strict application of the law, so would Filipinos. This should serve as a lesson for our kababayans that it does not pay to be made to carry drugs for drug lords. That should discourage any attempts in the future.

China has had a long history of drug trafficking and know how seriously drugs can hurt society and the country. It is not just about the wellbeing of individuals. They have not forgotten their lessons in the past and can hardly be expected to be lax. It is true of other countries as well, the Philippine included. The Opium Wars, that is also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars damaged trade and relations between the two countries. At the time China was ruled by the Qing dynasty.

Opium was smuggled by merchants from British India into China despite Chinese prohibition laws.

China was defeated in the opium wars against Britain and had no choice but tolerate the opium trade and paid dearly for it.

According to Wikipedia, “Britain forced the Chinese government into signing the Treaty of Nanking and the Treaty of Tientsin also known as the Unequal Treaties which included provisions for the opening of additional ports to unrestricted foreign trade, for fixed tariffs for the recognition of both countries as equal in correspondence; and for the cession of Hong Kong to Britain. The British also gained extraterritorial rights. Several countries followed Britain and sought similar agreements with China. Many Chinese found these agreements humiliating and these sentiments contributed to the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), and the downfall of the Qing”.

The Philippines is a prime example of a country weakened by rampant drug traffic — destroying lives and families because the law has not been strictly enforced. There may be a difference in how we punish drug mules. The death penalty may have been abolished in the Philippines, it has not been in China.

To them “meting out death penalty to drug-related criminals perpetrating extremely serious crimes serves deterring and preventing drug-related crimes,” adds the official press release from the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

* * *

That is why I am not optimistic about President Jejomar Binay’s trip to Beijing to make an appeal on behalf of the Filipino drug mules sentenced to death by a final verdict.

I spoke to the Chinese Embassy officials and they refused to speculate on what Vice President Jejomar Binay would accomplish by making a personal appeal to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. “This is the first time I have experienced something like this,” the official said so he would not predict the outcome.

President Noynoy’s boycott of the Nobel Peace Prize Award in Oslo to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese activist was believed to be an appeasement on behalf of the Filipino drug mules.

* * *

What I foresee is a lot of scraping and bowing from the Philippine side and inscrutable smiles from the Chinese. Indeed I am sure Vice President Binay will be feted and honored in accordance with the close relations between the Chinese and the Philippines.

The Aquino government cannot say they have not been given an audience and a hearing of the case for the Filipinos but it is a matter of priorities.

Binay’s visit will be cordial but it will not produce the desired results. The two sides can be expected to make diplomatic noises to continue to work together to combat drug-related crimes. It will be conveyed to Binay that despite the final verdict cooperation between the two countries will continue not only about drugs but also about other political and economic concerns.

This, I think is what the Chinese want to be able to do, try to reconcile what seems like a contradiction — to affirm the decision final but he is welcome to make an appeal.

Vice President Jejomar Binay himself said he was not optimistic and only a miracle could save three Filipinos. It looks more like a courtesy call to me. The Chinese courts have already reviewed the case after which the decision becomes final.

In my view Philippine government should conduct more extensive briefings to Filipinos working overseas on what awaits them if they were to be drug carriers for syndicates.

* * *

Of course drug peddling is a more severe crime than cheating in elections but this is a good time to compare how crimes are dealt with in both countries. For months, since the last election on May 10, Filipinos have said it was necessary to look at and closely review how the Smartmatic PCOS machines were allegedly manipulated in the last elections.

There was deafening silence from officials concerned. So it is good to hear from one of the Comelec Commissioners that the PCOS machines should not be used again until questions from concerned citizens and computer experts both local and foreign have been answered. Finally citizens are being given their due.

This is the first time that a Comelec commissioner has come out to say that “We should come out first with that Comelec evaluation on what really happened during the May 10 elections. Only then should we decide whether to re-use the PCOS machines or not.”

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to theRSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

About the Author

Carmen Navarro-Pedrosa

Carmen Navarro-Pedrosa has written 20 stories on this site.

Journalist. Book Author.


27 Comments on “In China, what the law says stays”

  • Hyden Toro wrote on 20 February, 2011, 14:57

    If you violate the laws, in a foreign country: You got to pay for it…the acts of Noynoy Aquino and Binay, going to China to beg for those Drug Mules lives, are just exercise in futility. International Drug Syndicates, in cahoot with the Chinese Triad Gang, is targeting China. Because, of the new wealth status of its people.
    The Chinese are afraid what the British Opium Dealers had done to its people, many years ago. The Filipino Drug Mules, now become the new “Foreign Devils…It will be a lesson to any OFW slaves, that being a Drug Mule for Drug syndicates, does not pay. Maybe, the Drug Crazed Congressman Singson is the next to hang…
    If the Chinese execute you by putting a bullet into your brain: they will bill your family for the cost of the bullet…Maybe Noynoy Aquino and Binay will receive a bill for the cost of the bullets soon…

    [Reply]

    Renato Pacifico Reply:

    Singson was a drug mule. China requests HK.Gov to turn-over Singson so they can teach Filipinos about Law 101.

    [Reply]

  • Hyden Toro wrote on 20 February, 2011, 15:22

    Civic Leaders should find a good computer programmer in countries advanced in computer technology, to Reprogram the Executable Files in the PCOS Machine…C, C+, or Assembly Language, can be used….these programming languages are hard to hack…

    [Reply]

  • GabbyD wrote on 20 February, 2011, 17:24

    @ pedrosa

    so what do you think, now that the execution has been postponed (due to this diplomatic effort)?

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    @

    Once again, nothing said that the Chinese courts acquitted the 3 of their crimes. Dead pinoys walking.

    Oh and nice picture Carmen. Always been a slight fan of Judge Bao.

    [Reply]

    GabbyD Reply:

    i wasnt talking about aquital. i was talking about the postponement.

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    Which still doesn’t deter the fact that these 3 will still be executed for their crime or that there was diplomatic effort that led to this rather than Chinese courts giving considerations, such as a presence of family members and a priest to send them out. Something similar to death sentences in America with last requests before the execution.

    GabbyD Reply:

    no one is denying that there is a diplomatic effort. CARMEN PEDROSA isnt denying it.

    in fact, its the DIPLOMATIC EFFORT that led to “GIVING CONSIDERATIONS”.

    blueredicedtea Reply:

    @

    what are you really talking about?
    postponement or “diplomatic effort” giving “considerations”?

    GabbyD Reply:

    the postponement IS the consideration.

    just 2 days ago, they were scheduled to be executed today.

    Renato Pacifico Reply:

    Actually China.gov is just rediculing the Filipinos. China.Gov is telling Phil.Gov that not attending Nobel awarding is not enough. Returning 15 Taiwanese to China was not enough. Toning down claim on Spratley is not enough because they can swat Phil.Gov like flies anytime they want to.

    [Reply]

    Renato Pacifico Reply:

    ACTUALLY WHAT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT WANT IS “RETURN THE ZTE BRIBE MONEY” !!!!! Filipino lives don’t cost much. Filipino lives can be bought for $3,500.00/head. Very cheap! They want ZTE Bribe money!

    [Reply]

    UP nn grad Reply:

    China wants more agricultural land. China needs land to feed its people. China expects Noynoy administration to deliver more Pilipinas agricultural land.

    [Reply]

    Renato Pacifico Reply:

    Chinese Government wanted Dead Chinese Hostages risen from the dead.

    [Reply]

    Renato Pacifico Reply:

    Chinese Government wanted Benigno to stop claiming they are descendants from China because Chinese are intelligent, Filipinos are not so is Benigno.

    [Reply]

    Carmen Navarro-Pedrosa

    Carmen pedrosa Reply:

    I think the postponement is a clever diplomatic move. That way it cannot be said that the Chinese were impervious to appeals from a friendly government. It hopes to satisfy the Aquino government in particular and Filipinos in general that the Chinese are not as brutal as they are pictured to be. They listen to appeals. (I understand that the acceptance of VP Binay had to do with the intercessions of a top former government official). But he can do only so much no matter the respect the Chinese have for him. For me, the intercession of this former high government official might have given the Chinese a limb to latch on for their strategy of preserving good relations with the Philippines without compromising the rule of law.

    [Reply]

    GabbyD Reply:

    hence, the law can be bent, but probably not broken. it seems they listen to appeals — but WHO appeals is important and HOW they appeal.

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    As I am saying before, Carmen isn’t admitting that VP Binay wormed his way to the Chinese that caused a postponement. If anything, China has more to gain by postponing (or appearing so) but it still doesn’t alter the fates of the 3.

    If anything, it makes the Chinese, a history with human rights atrocities, willing to listen to friendly governments regarding situations like these. They are ones looking better in a diplomatic stand point than the Philippines who have been bumbling idiots with diplomacy under the Aquino admin.

    GabbyD Reply:

    ha? “Carmen isn’t admitting that VP Binay wormed his way to the Chinese that caused a postponement”

    i doubt she’d use the word “wormed”. but binay DID DO SOMETHING –and she called it a “clever diplomatic move. That way it cannot be said that the Chinese were impervious to appeals from a friendly government.”

    Jay Reply:

    and she called it a “clever diplomatic move. That way it cannot be said that the Chinese were impervious to appeals from a friendly government.”

    And you are so good at twisting the inane details. The ball is in China’s court and if anything, the Philippines has to beg and is in no position to set the bargaining chips on the table. Whatever is this bending of the rule you refer of still doesn’t change the inevitable for the perpetrators. If anything, what Binay did was the least he could do and give considerations, be it last requests or so, and isn’t doing any great turnaround against the sentence.

    bokyo Reply:

    In short, hawak ng Tsina sa leeg ang Pinas. They’re at the better end of the bargaining table.

  • Renato Pacifico wrote on 20 February, 2011, 17:54

    Why do journlists call high-ranking officials by their nickname? What do they want to prove? Why do they adoringly and lovingly called Benigno, “Noynoy”? Can they address Benigno Aquino like that in public? Or, in private? I do not get it at all. And I haven’t got any lucid respectable answers from any journalists so far.

    [Reply]

  • anon wrote on 20 February, 2011, 20:41

    china will extract a high price in time fot doing what may be perceived as a minor favour to p-noy.
    they will still be executed in due course but can be a useful bargaining tool for the chinese.

    the one china policy will include the philippines in time. chinoys already rule the country.

    honk kong will show a different stance as it finds a way to release singson.
    money and bribery can still work if the price is right

    [Reply]

  • Jay wrote on 21 February, 2011, 1:13

    If anything, China’s consideration is as I have stated, a more western last request. I don’t know if the Chinese do this when they sentence their own but it makes sense to postpone in order to give the Pinoys a more heartfelt sendoff;

    Two priests, one in Xiamen and one in Shenzhen, were also put on standby to perform last religious rights on the convicts, should the penalty push through.

    The families of Credo and Ordinario were scheduled to leave for Xiamen Saturday morning to visit their incarcerated relatives, while Batain’s relatives were to leave for Shenzhen a day after.

    Plus with other crap that the families of the victims think there is a possibility that it can get turned around.

    [Reply]

    Hyden Toro Reply:

    Going there to save the lives of those OFW slaves Drug Mules; will never help anything for the Filipinos to take responsibilities of their actions. It is just a political move, on the part of Noynoy Aquino administration. However, like a grandparent of an Errant Teen-ager; who is turning to become a Juvenile Deliquent…Noynoy Aquino , Binay and Mar Roxas become “Konsintedors”…since, this was the result of their failed economic policies; by failure to provide decent jobs, to people here…The Filipinos go abroad and fall prey to the Easy-Money Scheme of being a Drug Mule for Drug Syndicates…Filipinos grow up, and take responsibilities…Your leaders are just manipulating your emotions, to get sympathy for your votes…

    [Reply]

  • Renato Pacifico wrote on 21 February, 2011, 18:48

    “For me, the intercession of this former high government official might have given the Chinese a limb to latch on for their strategy of preserving good relations with the Philippines without compromising the rule of law.” – Pedroza
    HA!HA!HA! Lookit, Bill and Hillary and Barack been jetting up and down Asia and never land in PHilippines … because Americans need not have good relations with the PHilippines so is China. Philipphinos wanted to be Americans and Chinese looking never ever looking like a brown-skin-punk’d-nose Filipino. NEVER. EVER.
    If Bill, Hillary and Barack wanted to have preserved fruit of relatonship, they should stop buy. Buti pa si Beiber atsaka si Taylor doma-da-an sa Filipinas. BEGGARS CANNOT BE CHOOSEN THEY CANNOT BE CHOOSERS.

    [Reply]

  • ulong pare
    ulong pare wrote on 22 February, 2011, 15:31

    daaaang!…. bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha…. hay naku, flips, i just couldn’t help it…

    i was castigated and hammered for pushing the RULE OF LAW thingy in flip gung gongs’ kukotes…

    now that the chinese imposed it to flips, all of a sudden, you flip gung gongs, suddenly realized the importance of what i’ve been preaching all along… not cha-cha, not parliamentary bullsh!t

    hay naku…. flips, puro kayo tunggaks…

    [Reply]