Manhunt launched to bag recruiters of drug mules

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THE National Bureau for Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) are now hunting down the drug syndicate that recruited the 35-year-old Filipina who was executed in China for drug offense.

Vice President Jejomar Binay said that besides Filipina’s recruiter, the NBI and PDEA men are also pursuing drug syndicates involved in recruiting drug couriers in the country.

“Tinatrabaho ‘yan ngayon ng PDEA at NBI [are now hunting them down],” he added.

Binay said that authorities are serious in going after these drug syndicates who are recruiting Filipinos as mules.

He cited the arrest of re-cruiter Mapet Cortez, alias Tita Cacayan, who allegedly recruited Sarah Ordinario-Villanueva, one of the three OFWs executed in China last year for drug smuggling.

Cortez allegedly misled Ordi-nario-Villanueva into taking what she thought was an empty suitcase that turned out to be lined with more than four kilos of heroin.

The Vice President said the Philippine government is doing all it could to stop Filipinos from engaging in the illegal drug trade.

However, Binay said drug couriers usually get the drugs outside the country adding that Filipino drug couriers usually take a circuitous route to their country of destination and get the drugs along the way.

“Ang ruta nila [Their route] usually via Dubai tapos [to]Hong Kong tapos doon na sa may area ng [then somewhere in]Shanghai,” he said.

At the same time, Binay warned Filipinos that it was not worth taking the risk to traffic illegal drugs into foreign countries.

He issued the statement in the wake of the execution of the Filipina drug courier in China on Wednesday.

Binay, the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns, said modern and sophisticated equipment can now detect now easily detect drugs.

For his part, Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said “we all must work to provide better job opportunities for our countrymen to ensure these types of unfortunate situations no longer happen.”

“Government agencies would also do well to analyze her situation and that of the family she leaves behind. There may be needs that have to be met like counselling, education, among others,” he added.

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