Filipina drug mule in China executed

Paterno Esmaquel II
(UPDATED) Vice President Jejomar Binay warns Filipino drug traffickers in China: ‘Life is at stake’

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Chinese government on Wednesday, July 3, executed a Filipino national for drug trafficking, a crime that has caused the death of 4 other Filipinos in China since 2011.

The 35-year-old Filipina drug mule underwent the death penalty on Wednesday morning, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez said.

Hernandez refused to divulge other details, as requested by the convict’s family. Initially, her mother didn’t want the government to disclose whether the drug mule was already executed.

“We reassured her that the DFA would not divulge the identity of her daughter, but we cannot withhold from the public the fact of the execution when it does happen. And we believe that she understood the explanation,” the DFA spokesman said.

The Palace sent its condolences to the convict’s family.

Hernandez added: “We certainly do not want other Filipino families to go through the same experience. And therefore we renew our call on our countrymen to avoid involvement with drug syndicates. Drug trafficking is a criminal act in the Philippines and all over the world. The life of every Filipino is valuable, and we pray that this is the last time that a tragedy like this befalls any of our countrymen.”

With this new execution, Vice President Jejomar Binay warned Filipino drug traffickers in China. “Life is at stake,” he said.

‘Life is at stake’

China executed the Filipina despite an appeal by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.

From the time she was sentenced, however, the Philippines had acknowledged there was a slim chance that China would grant its appeal. In executing 4 other Filipinos over the past two years, China has shown it doesn’t flinch against drug trafficking.

Binay said the Philippine government did all that it could to stop Filipinos from engaging in the illegal drug trade. Filipinos like the one executed, according to Binay, commit this crime beyond Philippine shores.

The convict’s father, for his part, claimed his daughter was the victim of a drug syndicate.

In an exclusive interview with GMA News, the 57-year-old father, who refused to reveal his identity, said their simple living is proof that they didn’t earn from drug trafficking.

He appealed to the public not to judge his daughter, and to respect their period of grief. He said he is most worried about his daughter’s two children.

The convict’s family has wished that she be cremated.

The Filipina was convicted for smuggling 6.198 kilos of heroin into China. Based on findings by Chinese courts, she earned up to P3 million from drug trafficking. 

The woman was arrested along with her male cousin and both were sentenced to death, but the man won a two-year reprieve, according to the Philippine government. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at