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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, February 23, 2011
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Anti-drug mule drive set

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Western Visayas will launch its version of Task Force Drug Courier today following cases filed against Overseas Filipino Workers arrested in different countries for being alleged drug mules, PDEA-6 Director Paul Ledesma said yesterday.

Ledesma, who was in Bacolod City, said the task force earlier formed by virtue of Administrative Order 279 is composed by different agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Information Agency, has been launched in several regions.

Aside from the PDEA, DFA and PIA, the task force members include the Department of Labor and Employment, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Tourism Authority, Office of the President – Office of Executive Secretary, Department of Justice, Commission on Higher Education, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police Avsecom Group, and the Manila International Airport Authority.

Ledesma said they will conduct information drives in different cities in the region to warn the public, especially those who have plans to work abroad, against the new scheme of illegal drug syndicates so they will not become “drug mules”.

Three Filipinos are facing death penalties in China, while Bacoleña Flora May Talaban is serving a life sentence in Bangkok, Thailand. All four of them have been convicted for illegal drug possession.

Ledesma, who will conduct a symposium on the issue in a school in Bacolod City next week, added that the possibility is not remote that illegal drug syndicates will also use domestic workers as “drug mules”.

He reiterated a warning to all call center agents because foreign and local drug recruiters want drug mules who are articulate and can communicate easily.

So far, Ledesma said, they have not monitored call center agents in Western Visayas being recruited as drug mules.*APN




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