The Filipino woman who was sentenced to die for carrying six kilos of heroin into China will be executed anytime today, according to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The condemned woman’s family talked to her for the last time on Monday, although they were not informed that she will be put to death today.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Filipino consul-general in China expects the sentence to be carried out between now and July 3.
China’s Supreme People’s Court upheld the decision of a lower court against the 35-year-old woman. The Chinese criminal code states that bringing in more than 50 grams of illegal drugs to the country is punishable by death.
In 2011, three Filipinos—Ramon Credo, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva and Elizabeth Batain—were executed through lethal injection despite appeals from the Philippine government.
The Filipina whose execution was set today is one of two Filipinos arrested in a province near Shanghai in January 2011.
She entered Shanghai as a tourist.
The Vice President called for prayers for the woman, saying a miracle may yet spare her life.
“Let us continue praying that China will grant our appeal to postpone the execution. The President has asked that her sentenced be lowered to life imprisonment,” Binay said in a statement in Filipino.
The Chinese government on Saturday did not allow the Vice President to go to China to personally appeal for the life of the Filipina.
The DFA said the woman’s family who arrived in Shanghai on Sunday and visited her yesterday.
“The family was able to talk with our kababayan for 30 minutes and this afternoon they will proceed to the men’s prison to visit the cousin who was sent to prison with a two year reprieve,” Raul Hernandez, foreign affairs spokesman, said.
He added that the family has not been informed on the final date of execution.
“This will be the only time the family will be allowed to talk with our kababayan in that detention center,” Hernandez told reporters.
He added that the Philippine government is waiting for the response of the Chinese government to the appeal of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Hernandez said the family was escorted into a provincial prison to see the woman, who was arrested along with her male cousin for smuggling more than 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of heroin into China in 2011.
The cousin, who was also sentenced to death but later earned a two-year reprieve, was also visited by the woman’s family.
The two are among more than 200 Filipinos detained for drug-related cases across China.
The DFA said Filipinos who travel abroad to find jobs and escape poverty at home are vulnerable to recruitment as drug mules by international narcotics gangs.
President Aquino has urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to commute the woman’s sentence to life imprisonment, an appeal the Filipino leader had hoped to convey in person through Binay.