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Malacanang says gov’t to break illegal activities of drug pushers

MANILA, March 30 (PNA) – Malacanang assured to break the illegal activities of drug pushers, which entrap people that eventually destroy lives in pursuit of their unscrupulous illegal trade.

In an official statement released on Wednesday from the Office of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on the execution of three Filipinos Ramon Credo, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva and Elizabeth Batain in China, the Palace said the government is resolved to ensure that the chain of victimization will be broken. The statement condemned the destruction of lives in pursuit of the illegal drug business.

“We are resolved to ensure that the chain of victimization, as pushers entrap and destroy lives in pursuit of their trade, will be broken. Those who traffic in illegal drugs respect no laws, no boundaries, and have no scruples about destroying lives,” the statement read.

“Our response must be relentless, with government and the citizenry working together to ensure vigilance and mutual support to prevent our countrymen from being used by drug pushers as sacrificial pawns, whether at home or abroad,” it added.

The Aquino administration expressed sympathies with the families of the condemned, sharing their sense of looming loss. The government said that the deaths of the three Filipinos are a vivid lesson in the tragic toll the drug trade takes on the entire families.

The three Filipinos, Credo, 42; Batain, 38; and Villanueva, 32, were convicted of drug trafficking in China. They were originally scheduled to be executed last February 20 and 21. The executions stayed following the humanitarian visit to Beijing of Vice President Jejomar Binay upon orders of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Binay is also the concurrent Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns.

In the statement, Lacierda said the Philippine government took every available opportunity to appeal to the authorities of China for clemency in the cases of the three. “In the end, however, the sentence was imposed,” he said.

Ordinario-Villanueva was convicted for smuggling 4,110 grams of heroin on Dec. 24, 2008 into Xiamen, while Credo was convicted for smuggling 4,113 grams of heroin on Dec. 28, 2008 in the same city.

Batain, meanwhile, was convicted for smuggling 6,800 grams of heroin on May 24, 2008, in Shenzhen.

Under the Chinese criminal code, smuggling of 50 grams of heroin or any narcotic drug into China is punishable by death.

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