Gov't takes steps to protect Filipinos from being used as drug couriers
Iloilo City (19 February) -- The government has taken steps to prevent Filipinos from being used as drug couriers by international drug trafficking syndicates.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Administrative Order No. 279 creating an inter-agency task force recently.
According to a Malacanang report, President Arroyo noted in the order that "there is an alarming increase in the number of Filipinos who have been enticed, duped and subsequently recruited to act as drug couriers by international drug trafficking syndicates."
"Many of the Filipinos recruited as drug couriers have been apprehended by police authorities and are now facing stiff penalties, with some of them meted with death sentences by foreign courts," the President added.
In creating the task force, President Arroyo said that the state is mandated to promote the welfare of overseas Filipinos pursuant to Republic Act No. 8402, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.
She added that it is of critical importance that the state safeguards public interest and protect migrant Filipinos from the tactics of international drug trafficking syndicates.
President Arroyo also stressed in the administrative order the need to conduct an intensive and unrelenting campaign against drug syndicates responsible for victimizing the Filipinos as drug couriers.
"The fight against illegal drugs is a gargantuan task where all available government resources should be utilized and concerned law enforcement agencies must coordinate closely and act jointly to ensure the implementation of a holistic and unified anti-drug program that will address the problem of drug couriers," she said. (PIA) [top]