• Hunt for drug mule recruiter futile – Sotto

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    THE efforts of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to identify and capture the supposed recruiter of the 35-year-old Filipina who was executed in China last week could just be a waste of time since it will be difficult to directly link individuals to the drug operation.

    Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd over the weekend said that he could not understand why the DOJ is spending time and effort for the arrest of the recruiter, when there is no way that they could link him or her to the actual group that used the woman to smuggle six kilos of heroin into China.

    He added that, the recruiter could easily deny that he or she is the one who went with the drug-mule in Malaysia, the purported source of the illegal substance transported to China.

    The lawmaker noted that, instead of spending time and money on the investigation of the National Bureau of Investigation and the House of Representatives, it would be better if the government just spend the funds on improving its information campaign.

    He noted that, an information campaign should not only be limited to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) because syndicates who are looking for prospective drug couriers are not targeting OFWs.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier confirmed that the arrested Filipina was not an OFW.

    “Most of those being recruited are not OFWs because OFWs usually have a regular job abroad,” Sotto noted.

    He also cautioned other lawmakers against issuing statements that could only agitate public emotion especially if they do not understand the issue.

    The veteran lawmaker was referring to the statement made by Rep. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna who said that the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) failed to monitor the movement of the Filipino drug courier despite its intelligence funds.

    Sotto explained that the DDB does not have intelligence funds.

    Sotto also said that PDEA has intelligence funds but they are used to monitor drug operations in the country.

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