MANILA, Philippines – Law enforcers are hunting down drug syndicates involved in recruiting couriers in the country, Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Thursday in the aftermath of the execution Wednesday of a Filipina drug mule in China.
“Tinatrabaho ‘yan ngayon ng PDEA at NBI. ‘Yung doon sa tatlo, nahuli na nila ‘yung recruiter (PDEA and NBI are now working on it. They already arrested the recruiter of the three),” Binay said in a statement. PDEA is Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency while NBI is National Bureau of Investigation.
Binay was referring to Mapet Cortez alias Tita Cacayan, who allegedly recruited Sarah Ordinario-Villanueva, one of the three overseas Filipino workers executed in China last year for drug smuggling.
Cortez allegedly misled Ordinario-Villanueva into taking what she thought was an empty suitcase that turned out to be secretly lined with more than four kilos of heroin.
Binay said the Philippine government is “doing all it could to stop Filipinos from engaging in the illegal drug trade.”
Drug couriers, however, usually get the drugs outside the country, he pointed out.
“Ang ruta nila usually via Dubai tapos Hong Kong tapos doon na sa may area ng Shanghai (Their route usually is via Dubai to Hong Kong and then to Shanghai area) ,” he said.
“Aalis sila dito sa Pilipinas na malinis sila. Tapos pagdating nila doon sa ibang bansa saka nila kukunin ‘yung droga (They are cleared when they leave the Philippines then they will get the drugs when they arrive in other countries),” Binay added.
On Wednesday, China put to death a 35-year-old Filipino woman convicted of drug trafficking.
The unnamed Filipina was the fifth Filipino drug courier executed since 2011 in China, one of the countries that strictly enforces drug laws.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that Chinese judicial authorities made a “fair judgment.” She said death sentences are used “cautiously” and are subject to strict legal procedures and regulations.
She reminded all foreigners in China to follow Chinese laws and not to engage in illegal activities.