Philippine gov't urges crackdown on drug smuggling

Updated: 2011-04-01 17:05


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MANILA- The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) urged on Friday the conduct of a holistic, coordinated campaign against illegal drug smuggling syndicates, which usually victimize overseas Filipinos workers by making them as drug mules.

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"Protection of overseas Filipinos should start at home, where the capacity of the Philippine government to help them is at its highest," the department said.

The DFA said there should be a focused and coordinated campaign against illegal drug traffickers to be undertaken by Philippine law enforcement agencies and led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Closer coordination is also needed among the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Immigration in running after international drug syndicates which have increasingly victimized Filipinos as drug couriers, it said.

The DFA also called for the involvement of local government units, through the Department of Interior and Local Government, in this campaign since a number of Filipinos who have been victimized as drug mules come from the provinces.

"The above efforts should lead to a more aggressive apprehension and prosecution of international drug traffickers, particularly West African drug syndicates who are operating not only overseas but also within the country, with Filipino cohorts," it said.

The DFA added that a stronger international police and legal cooperation with foreign drug enforcement agencies and the Interpol police network would be helpful.


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