China has tried, convicted and sentenced to death a Filipino man. The crime, running drugs.
President Aquino requested publicly that China grant mercy and withdraw the death penalty. He also sought to send Vice President Binay to China on a mission of mercy.
China declined to receive the mission and informed the Philippines that the execution will be conducted as planned.
I find the case interesting. I personally think the top officials of government have better things to do than try to impose upon China's sovereign rights or gad about the globe trying to free wayward Filipinos.
First of all, it smacks of double standard. The Philippines is the place that was so outraged that Private Smith was held at the US Embassy rather than in a Philippine jail as the Nicole incident unfolded. "The humiliation, the humiliation!" cried Senator Santiago. And most of the nation. The Philippines wanted the US to respect the Philippine legal process.
The consistent approach would be to respect China's legal process.
The argument likely to be encountered: "The Philippines does not execute people." The American response would be, "Does it try them quickly and fairly and according to law, rather than ulterior motive (politics, public outcry, media glare, bribery)?"
It is confusing to me as to why the Philippine government believe China should curtail its due process simply because the convicted man is Filipino.
Is this a racial statement? Or a statement of Philippine patriotism? Or a statement of morality, opposed to the death penalty?
I rather see it as the underbelly of Filipino pride, where pride is related to saving or showing "face". It is hard for Filipinos to see a brother-Filipino "besmirched" by China.
Also, in the Philippines, justice is fluid, simply a favor or protest or bribe away. Certainly China would be receptive to similar influences.
Ummmm not here, not now.
And what about the condition of Philippine jails? Of Philippine justice? Of the Philippine judiciary?
How many Filipinos are cheated out of their lives by failed due process, left to rot in an overcrowded jail without access to good attorneys, or unable to pay the required court fees or bribes.
Or how many alleged criminals are outright murdered by local vigilante death squads? (Cebu, Davao.)
How many women are locked into an abusive relationship because they cannot get a divorce? Or treated as indentured servants to deadbeat fathers. How many kids don't get milk because the father took off, and the government doesn't care?
No, no. The Philippines needs to look inward at its own human rights violations and not try superficially to raise its moral standing by pretending to be above China's standards.
I think trying to send the Vice President to rescue a criminal was foolish. Misguided. Embarrassing, actually.
There are so many abuses in the Philippines.
Deal with THEM, and the social dysfunction that allows them to persist.
Establish a strong moral platform from which to speak and others might listen better.