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Palace warns OFWs against working as drug mules

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Malacanang warns Filipinos against working as drug mules for international drug syndicates in exchange for money to prevent them from being subjected to death penalty, a Palace official said on Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued the statement during an interview aired over government-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, following the arrest of two Filipinos in Macau for alleged drug trafficking last Feb. 1.

The Aquino administration, which has a strong anti-illegal drug policy, is undertaking comprehensive and proactive measures to address the drug mules issue and to protect Filipinos from being victimized by international drug syndicates.

Lacierda said Filipinos should learn from the fate of those who were executed in China for drug trafficking last year.

"Pagkatapos kung sakaling i-impose sa kanila ang death penalty kargo po ng sambayanang Pilipino ang kanilang problema. So, sana matuto na po ang ating mga kababayan na huwag pagamit sa mga drug syndicates," he said

He urged the Filipinos to heed the government's call to protect themselves against falling prey to international drug syndicates.

"Ito ang pakiusap natin sa mga Overseas Filpino Workers (OFWs) at sa mga taong lalabas ng bansa -- huwag po tayo pagagamit sa mga syndikato ng droga at huwag tayong papayag na gamitin ang ating mga kagamitan, mga maleta na lalagyan ng kanilang mga gamit na hindi nila personally ini-inspect," he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that two Filipinos - a man and a woman - were apprehended by the Judiciary Police in an apartment in Macau. The two Filipinos were reportedly found in possession of 46 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known in the Philippines as shabu.

The seized drugs have an estimated street value of 90,000 patacas (US$ 11,392.405). Several drug paraphernalia were also found in the apartment.
A suspected buyer, also a Filipino, was likewise invited by Macau police authorities for questioning.

Lacierda said the government has already extended assistance to the detained Filipinos to ensure that their rights are respected.
There are at least 19 Filipinos currently detained in Macau on drug cases.

The Philippine government is closely cooperating with the law enforcement agencies in other countries on efforts against anti-drugs trafficking.

By PNA




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