MANILA — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Friday reiterated its advisory to the public involving the recruitment, arrest, detention and conviction of Filipinos used as drug couriers caught transporting illegal drugs abroad, particularly in China.
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. reissued the warning in response to the news surrounding the alarming rate of Filipino nationals arrested for drug trafficking in Guangzhou, China.
“As of May 2014, there are 220 Filipinos (59 males, 161 females) who are presently detained in China for drug-smuggling offenses,” Cacdac said in a statement.
He added that almost half of them were incarcerated in the province of Guangzhou alone, and either sentenced to death with two-year reprieve, life imprisonment, fixed-term imprisonment and those with pending drug-related cases or under investigation.
Cacdac expressed hope that Task Force Drug Courier member agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Information Agency, Manila International Airport Authority, and Philippine Tourism Authority will succeed in keeping down the number of our “kababayans”, who are either wittingly or unwittingly enticed to become drug mules by international drug syndicates.
“Do not accept offers to become drug mules even if they are very tempting. Be vigilant of the modus operandi of drug syndicates. Before you know it, you are already caught in the web of drug trafficking activities,” he said, adding that mere possession and transportation of illegal drugs is punishable in foreign countries, especially in China, where the penalty for violations of their anti-drug law is harsh.