As we mourn for the death of the latest addition to the list of Filipinos executed abroad, let us not forget that there are lessons to be learned from this tragic experience not just for the government but also for every Filipino who wants a swift escape from the crippling poverty that our country continue to suffer.

The execution in Liuzhou, China, yesterday of a Filipino has created different opinions from Filipinos who are still confused if they have to mourn for another Filipino soul lost outside the land or praise China for giving us a lesson worth keeping for the rest of our lives. Nonetheless, this death, no matter what are the stories and intentions behind it, should unite us more as a nation and think for better ways to stop another soul to be wasted in vain.

Road Less Traveled is still the best way.

According to The Manila Times, a detail worth remembering is that the 35-year-old Filipino from Bataan who was executed yesterday was not an Overseas Filipino Worker in China. He was there as a tourist. This was declared by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Jose Gutierrez Jr earlier this week. Gutierrez said the man was a drug courier who earned as much as US$4,000 to US$6,000 for each trip he made. That’s a lot of money but not good enough to take him out of the death row. Even before the execution yesterday, a lot of people condemned this drug mule for putting our country into shame once again and that his greed was more than enough to justify the death sentence given by China. Filipino OFWs around the world have been known for having the dedication to provide high-quality outputs and this news, although the drug mule was proven to be a tourist and not an OFW, has put our nation’s reputation under international scrutiny. But we have to remember that one man’s action won’t ever define the whole of his nation and the best way we can do now is learn from his mistakes and make better judgments for our own welfare and for the future of our families. Cutting corners will always remain as the option for desperate people suffering from extreme poverty and lacking faith on his country and on his own capability to succeed using hard work and perseverance.

Government versus Drug Syndicates

The Pinoy drug mule was working for the Manila branch of an African drug syndicate, which will continue its recruitment as long as there are gullible, and uneducated Filipinos that are willing to be trapped on their snares. Our government, through PDEA, NBI and the PNP, should employ all means to fight this drug syndicates and put our country under maximum security. We have to take action now before our country become known worldwide as the center of drug syndicate recruits. Poverty is the main catalyst why some Filipinos are forced to take the easier way out so the government and its concerned departments should find more ways to provide decent jobs and business opportunities. This battle should start as soon as possible before another Filipino is put on the death row.

This is not the best time to blame one another but a time for each of us to reflect on how we can be of help for our country and for our countrymen under the chains of poverty. We have a long way to go but let’s hope that this death of a fellow Filipino will be one of the final wake-up calls for us to move forward and hope for a better Philippines.