THE NATION certainly rejoices that the execution of three Filipinos—two of them females—in China which had been scheduled this week, has been postponed.
Unfortunately, President Benigno Aquino III’s statements in December put us in a situation now in which China—true to its self-interest as a nation—could very well utilize Filipinos in death row as bargaining chips.
It was solely Mr. Aquino who linked the fate of the death-row convicts to Philippine policy decisions, announcing that he ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs to boycott the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony which honored a Chinese dissident in order to convince it not to execute the three Filipinos. Mr. Aquino in effect converted the fate of all Filipinos in China’s death row into bargaining chips in the relations between our two countries. With the intense media coverage of this episode, China obviously very well realizes the political clout it can wield in our country.
But what should our government have done?