Public warned anew on becoming drug couriers

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Sally Villanueva and Ramon Credo. Photo courtesy Interaksyon.com
Sally Villanueva and Ramon Credo. Photo courtesy Interaksyon.com

LEGAZPI CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) regional office here has reiterated the government’s call to the populace, especially among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), not to fall prey to international drug syndicates’ modus operandi.

PDEA Bicol Regional Director Archie Alzaga Grande said that when traveling abroad, one should be extremely cautious when dealing with strangers on possible ‘padala’ or ‘salisi’ modus operandi in order not to suffer the same fate of three Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in China already set tomorrow (March 30).

Grande said the agency is one with the entire country in grieving and praying for the fate of the three convicted Filipino drug traffickers Ramon Credo and Sally Villanueva, who will face their fate by lethal injection in Xiamen; and Elizabeth Batain in Shenzhen, all were found guilty of drug trafficking charges by the Fujian People’s Court and the Gunadong High People’s Court.
As the execution date already set tomorrow, PDEA Bicol reminds and urges anew OFWs to become vigilant in dealing with people as they travel abroad.

Grande furthered that drug mules, particularly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), were forced by circumstances and lured with easy money, “but the stakes are definitely high.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement that the increasing number of Filipino arrested as drug mules abroad, whether they were enticed, duped or recruited as (illegal) drug couriers, is alarming.

Based on DFA data, from two cases in 2003, it jumped to 689 cases as of January 2011.

Task Force on Drug Couriers, co-chaired by PDEA DFA, records show that some 689 cases were filed against Filipino drug couriers who are now in prison or facing death penalty abroad, with 431 (63 percent) female and 258 (37 percent) males.

Data also show that 79 of them are facing the death penalty in China, wherein 73 were granted with a two-year reprieve while six others, including Credo, Villanueva and Batain, with no reprieve. (MALoterte)

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