March 30th, 2011 Headsman
Today in China, overseas Filipino workers Ramon Credo, 42, Sally Villanueva, 32, and Elizabeth Batain, 38, were executed by lethal injection in China as drug smugglers — the first two in Xiamen, and the last in Shenzhen.
The three had been arrested in 2008 and convicted in 2009 for carrying heroin — they said unknowingly — into the People’s Republic.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, who personally traveled to China to plead their case, called it “a sad day for all of us.” (Unusually, China actually granted a few weeks’ reprieve from the original February execution dates. This was viewed as a concession, and why not? China has rolled stronger countries in similar cases before without even that courtesy.)
While this case was in the headlines for weeks in the Philippines and around the world, the condemned at the heart of it seem not to have realized their deaths were imminent until relatives flew in from China to meet with them on this very day, just hours before execution.
These seem to be the first known Philippines nationals executed in China for drug trafficking, and if that’s a surprising milestone for the world’s most aggressive executioner to be setting with a regional neighbor noted for its many overseas workers … it bears remembering that it’s only China’s stupendous economic growth in the past generation or so that has made it such an especially attractive migrant worker destination.
This execution date also happens to be the 40th anniversary of another landmark event in Sino-Filipino relations, the hijacking of a Philippines airliner by six students, who diverted it to China. Those illicit airborne arrivals were greeted with considerably more leniency than our present-day drug couriers enjoy.
On this day..
- 1781: Diego Corrientes Mateos, Spanish social bandit - 2016
- 1555: Robert Ferrar, Bishop of St. David's - 2015
- 1875: John Morgan, slasher - 2014
- 1883: Emeline Meaker, child abuser, first woman hanged in Vermont - 2013
- 1911: Joseph Christock - 2012
- 1938: Arkadi Berdichevsky, Jon Utley's father - 2010
- 1952: Nikos Beloyannis, the man with the carnation - 2009
- 1689: Kazimierz Lyszczynski, the first Polish atheist - 2008