The 3 Filipino drug mules on death row in China will be executed next Wednesday (March 30), the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.
Despite winning a rare reprieve following a high-level Philippine lobby, the death sentences on Ramon Credo, 42, Elizabeth Batain, 38, & Sally Villanueva, 32, will be carried out with the Chinese embassy in Manila saying last week, "The verdict is a final verdict."
The 3 who were convicted of heroin smuggling in 2008, were due to have been put to death last February 20 & 21 but was put on hold after Vice President Jejomar Binay went to Beijing on February 18 to seek mercy.
Philippine authorities had gone to great lengths in a bid to save the 3 & made repeated appeals for their sentences to be commuted to life in jail.
"The government respects the Chinese law & the finality of the verdict of the Chinese People's Court," DFA spokesman Ed Malaya told reporters.
The DFA said the families of the Filipinos had been informed of the impending executions & will leave for China over the weekend to see their doomed loved ones for the last time.
The DFA said it provided "all possible legal & consular assistance" to the 3 Filipinos.
"The government ensured that their legal rights were respected & observed, & their welfare protected from the time of their arrests & throughout the judicial process, & even up to this very day," it said.
The government had insisted that the 3 were from poor families & were duped into becoming drug mules by crime gangs.
The 3 are among 227 Filipinos jailed for drugs offenses in China.
The DFA reiterated its warning for Filipinos "not to allow themselves to be victimized by international drug syndicates."
"We wish to stress that vigilance is the first major step in combating the modus operandi of international drug traffickers," it said. "We urge all our citizens to be on alert at all times in order not to be victimized by drug syndicates."
OFW's should always be careful.