MANILA, Philippines - More than 200 Filipinos are languishing in jails in China for drug-smuggling offences, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The PDEA has said that almost three-fourths of the number are women caught transporting illegal drugs there. Of the 220 Filipinos held in China jails as of May this year, 161 are women while 59 are men.
PDEA Director General undersecretary Arturo Cacdac Jr. warned Filipinos on the recruitment, arrest, detention and conviction of Filipinos being used as drug couriers.
In a statement, Cacdac lamented the alarming rate of Filipinos arrested for drug trafficking in Guangzhou province, China.
"Do not accept offers to become drug mules even if they are very tempting," the PDEA director general said.
According to Cacdac, almost half of the 220 Filipinos caught in China for drug smuggling were detained in Guangzhou. Most of them were sentenced either with death with a two-year reprieve, life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment while the others' cases were still pending or under investigation.
He reminded Filipinos anew that mere possession and transportation of illegal drugs would net harsh penalties in foreign countries, especially in China.
"Be vigilant of the modus operandi of drug syndicates. Before you know it, you are already caught in the web of drug trafficking activities," he said.
Meanwhile, the PDEA expressed hope that member agencies of Task Force Drug Courier, such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Information Agency, Manila International Airport Authority, and Philippine Tourism Authority would succeed in keeping down the number of drug mules.