President Aquino Statement on the execution of the three Filipinos in China

His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
On the execution of Ramon Credo, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, and Elizabeth Batain in Xiamen and Guangzhou, China on March 30, 2011
[Released on March 30, 2011]
P-NoyImage via WikipediaToday, Ramon Credo, Sally Ordinario, and Elizabeth Batain were executed in China after being convicted of drug trafficking. As fellow Filipinos, we offer our deepest sympathies to the families that they have left behind.
Consistent with the laws and values of our country, we pleaded with the Chinese government to commute their death sentences to life imprisonment. Unfortunately, the Chinese government did not agree, and we must respect their legal processes. I ask the public not to allow this situation to affect our historic friendship with the Chinese people.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has been providing grief counseling to the families of Mr. Credo, Ms. Ordinario and Ms. Batain. They will also be provided assistance for their education and livelihood.
The three of them were convicted for drug trafficking, but perhaps, they can also be considered victims—victims of unscrupulous recruiters and drug traffickers, and victims of a society that could not provide for them enough gainful employment in their home country.
Since the beginning of our term, this administration has been going after drug syndicates. In the first quarter alone, the NCRPO has seized 1.4 billion pesos worth of shabu, shut down two shabu laboratories, and arrested 23 foreign nationals involved in the drug trade. In the case of Ms. Ordinario, we have identified the recruiter and filed charges before the Department of Justice. Operations are still ongoing to capture the rest of these drug traffickers.
But this is part of a bigger problem: These people are not the only people that have suffered this fate. All over the world, particularly in the Middle East, there are other Filipinos languishing in jails.
Our ultimate goal is to create a situation where people are not pressured to resort to these things, where they can find enough gainful employment in the Philippines. Let us remain steadfast and focused on this goal, for it is the ultimate means to bringing a better life for all.