CEBU CITY, Mar 30 (PIA) -- As the country sympathized with the families of the three Filipinos who were executed before 12 noon today in China due to drug trafficking, the public is again reminded on the dangers of falling victims to illegal recruitment which includes the risk of becoming drug mules.
Police Regional Office (PRO) - 7 chief gen. Ager Ontog said the fate of our fellow countrymen was unfortunate especially as one of the three victims was reportedly just a victim of illegal recruitment.
“It is very important to disseminate to the people of Central Visayas to be cautious at all times when people entice them with huge amount of money to work abroad not knowing that aside from falling victims to illegal recruitment carries the danger of being exploited to become drug couriers,” according to Ontog during this morning’s ‘Talakayan sa Isyung Pulis’ (TSIP) Forum at the PRO-7 Media Center.
Ontog said barangay captains play a very important role in the education drive in the grassroots level as most of those who fall victim to illegal recruitment are poor people.
“Barangay captains have to check on what is going on in their area and make sure that illegal recruitment will not happen in their barangay,” Ontog further said.
The PRO-7 chief added that barangay captains should also check the intention of any ongoing recruitment of workers in their area and whether the purpose is to really provide legitimate jobs or for other illegal purposes such as drug trafficking.
Ontog also asked the media to help in the education drive against illegal recruitment by informing the public to always check the legitimacy of the agency offering jobs abroad.
“Those who are interested to find greener pastures in other countries should always check if the agency is accredited, and never be swayed by the promise of big money” Ontog stressed.
Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA)-7 Regional Director Evelia Durato in a previous PIA forum likewise appealed to the public to always check with their office if the recruitment agency offering jobs abroad are accredited by POEA.
“This is for your own safety because if one is a victim of illegal recruitment, you never know where and what you will end up with such as being forced to be drug mules or become prostitutes,” Durato disclosed.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-7 Legal Officer Atty. Mauro Licen in the same TSIP Forum said there are 689 cases of drug trafficking involving Filipinos in different parts of the world.
Licen said the advocacy campaign against drug mules continues as a task force against drug mules has been created headed by both the PDEA and the Department of Foreign Affairs. (PIA-Cebu/FCR)