November 24, 2023, marked a somber day for the Philippines as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed the execution of two Filipino nationals in China for drug trafficking offenses. The individuals, who had been on death row since their conviction in 2016, were executed via lethal injection. The DFA had been assisting them since their arrest in 2013 when they were found carrying nearly 12 kilograms of methamphetamine.
The DFA provided an array of assistance, including legal support, and repeatedly appealed for sentence commutation on humanitarian grounds. Unfortunately, these efforts proved futile, and the sentences were upheld. The executions were carried out despite the Philippine government's high-level appeals to China, urging for the sentences to be commuted to life imprisonment.
Respecting Privacy and Extending Condolences
The DFA, in a respectful gesture, has chosen not to disclose the identities of the executed, honoring the privacy of their families. They have extended their deepest condolences to the bereaved families, emphasizing the unfortunate consequences of international drug trafficking.
China continues to lead the world in the number of executions, as reported by Amnesty International. However, the exact figures remain a closely guarded state secret. The country's strict drug policies result in a significant number of death penalty cases, with 90 still pending, mainly drug-related. Among those awaiting their fate on death row are two more Filipinos.