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Why Drug Mules exist and what we can do to nail down Drug Traffickers

Updated on July 21, 2012
PRAYER VIGIL for the 3 OFWs in Death Row
PRAYER VIGIL for the 3 OFWs in Death Row | Source

I'm saddened by the news that three Filipino overseas contract workers (OFWs) are going to undergo death penalty in China on March 30th, 2011 because of prohibited drugs. It's their fate. Amid the prayer vigils being held before that 'black day', Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain will just be names that will be forgotten as more and more problems in the Philippine society occupied  the  time of our legislators who are trying to formulate rules and regulations that will choke up the lives of ordinary people, like them.

There are more than 600 Filipino workers abroad who are wasting their lives in prison due to the temptation of illegal drugs being dole out by international drug syndicates that I am mentioning to wit:, Hongkong Triad, Colombian Drug Cartel and West African Drug Syndicates, apart from local supporters who are mushrooming the key cities, spreading their arms in the countryside.

It's a know fact that illegal drug activities exist in the world but I wonder why they continue to exist and elude the arms of law.

Is it because there's an on-going connivance with some people in the government, business sector or even the media?

We can easily caught the users, the bookers and the mules, but seldom the authorities pin down big names on that illegal activities?

Many lives are wasted everyday; the future of the youth is bleak because of this. Young children are orphaned because their parents committed such acts in search of financial stability.


I've known a thing or two about the existence of drug dependence among politicians, the rich businessmen, show business and even the media.

  • Politicians who use prohibited drugs as their diversion are not new in this country. Congressman Sison was entrapped in Hongkong for the possession illegal drugs. At present, there were members of the Senate who are also in drug use but never convicted because they're so discreet because they're the ones campaigning against it. Such a very wise act but their days are numbered. Just like Sison, they will be punished because of their illegal deeds
  • Some members of show business are also into illegal drugs; some are convicted and died for it, but others continue to defy the law. I can already mention the deposed Ace Vergel, a very good actor but succumbed himself into the dark alleys of drug dependence until his death.
  • We can hear the news about the son or daughter of this and that filthy-rich businessmen or the scion of a business empire were hooked into drugs; even some of it committed other crimes, like murder and rape.
  • Some media people I knew, whom I worked with, also used illegal drugs for personal gratification. They're the ones lambasting or condemning such act on air but they're slaves to it once they go off- air. Until now, I pity those former colleague of mine who can't stop such addiction. It's degrading to their career and to themselves.

My question is: When will this malady end? It's man-made and only man can control or totally eradicate it.

Yes, you'll get what you want if you engage into this kind of business, as in drug mule, but you can never escape judgment,


The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) already spearheaded major entrapment operations in big cities, such as Metro Manila and handcuffed members of West African drug syndicates.

The Africans who range from NIgerians, South Africans are  transiting in the Philippines and often stay in a hotel for several days. The accumulated period will be spent hiring drug mules through their recruiters. Once a candidate agreed to carry drugs in their body by swallowing it, they can guarantee huge sum of money (usually in US dollars) after delivering it to its destination.

Third world countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines will be the target access in order to transport the illegal drugs in China or India.

Drugs coming from South America (mostly from Colombia) will be transported through seafarers and other overseas workers. As to the payment, a drug mule can earn as much as $5,000.00 dollars per transaction.

They are blinded by the lure of money that's why they agreed to swallow pills and pills of cocaine or heroin that can endanger their lives once it erupted in their stomach, causing death in the end.

I've known an account way back 2007 about an engine apprentice from our sister ship committed suicide because of shame when they were caught on board the ship along with the Filipino boatswain or buson mate conniving with the drug syndicates.

Easy money can never be a barometer or having a satisfying life. Much more when you put your family in shame and drag your wasted life in prison. The cycle will just go on and on if overseas workers will be lured to such transactions.

Photo from the movie: Maria, Full of Grace
Photo from the movie: Maria, Full of Grace | Source

Be vigilant

I salute the zealous act of the US Homeland Security because every transaction coming to their shores will be thoroughly inspected. Transient passengers,as in sailors, caregivers, nurses, teachers, etc., will be interrogated for safety purposes.

  • Illegal drugs are one of the menace in our society. They are so strict that oftentimes, many international ships coming into the port will be inspected thoroughly including its officers and crew. There will be Unannounced Drug Inspection and the ship owner through its captain must approve of the proceedings. In some cases, when a vessel is on dry-dock operation (ship being lifted our from the water for cleaning), the ship's crew will just be surprised that a drug box will be discovered welded on the outer compartment of the  vessel, Interrogation will follow that can easily put the Master and Chief Engineer or even Chief officer on jail.
  • Filipinos are hospitable that's why some people are abusing it. Some Chinese nationals were caught in the hotel producing poor man's cocaine or shabu that are distributed locally. They're not punished here because the Philippine government is an ally of China on its One-China policy. A big difference in mainland China where the High Court sentence the offender of death penalty if the same  crime is committed there. Just like what happened to the three OFWs.
  • Every individual can help this country eradicate illegal drugs if they will be truly oriented about its dangers. The Philippine Dangerous Drug Act of 1975 identified those prohibited drugs. We can still review about it and disseminate to the people in your place about the consequences that will happen if they indulge into drug traffickingand dependency. If we can actively participate to the Whistle-blower program of the government, we can help pin down the perpetrators and save our children in the future.

It's not too late to act. We've learn our lesson well. We shouldn't wait for another bitter incident to happen.

The miracle will start in ourselves. We must be vigilant by protecting our countrymen from drug traffickers. This is the best thing we can do to avoid such incident from happening again.

Crime Watch 02/09 -- Drug Mules c/o SpfCommunityOutreach


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @moiragallaga: You're right; it's difficult to fight those bad people.

      So at the first instance or initial approach of those suspicious people, don't be lured by their sweet words and dreamy promises of easy money and good life. It will never do you good.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this, Moira.

    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Travelman, this is a very informative hub. This is what is needed, spreading the word and making people aware of the risks and perils. Reports show that many of these drug mules know what they are getting into, the temptation is just too strong for them. They have to be aware it is not worth the risk and your advocacy will be helpful in the fight against this menace.

      It is difficult to fight the drug syndicates, they have so much resources at their disposal. In fact, what people being tempted by the syndicates should think about is that these syndicates can afford to sacrifice a couple of them, it won't even dent their profit margin. Whenever syndicates send out their mules, they'll tip off the authorities to 1 or 2 of them to increase the chances of the others to get through as the authorities will be busy tracking and apprehending the sacrificial mules. It may seem like easy money but think hard, you might be one of those set up to be caught and you soon find yourself on death row.

      Voted up!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Fluffy77: Thanks for the concern. You gave me an idea to launch an advocacy here on HubPages against Drug Abuse. I think, the staff will agree with me for this one.

    • Fluffy77 profile image


      7 years ago from Enterprise, OR

      This is a very good hub to share here, awareness is key to solving these tough issues. I am proud of you and your bravery to do this! Don't give up the good fight, we fight these things here too, I understand.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      People are so materialistic these days. I hope they could turn their attention to a more serious activities for the benefit of their souls.

    • thesailor profile image


      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      My sentiment is for those people who are blinded by money that they swallowed their pride for their family. They risked their lives just to give them a better life. Although, the road they've taken put them into jail.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Cogerson: This hub is a sort of editorial. My personal biases are on it but I presented it like this, not only to evoke sympathy but to offer hope for those who were influence by illegal drug trade.

      Some government officials will just ignore the reality about drug trafficking but every individual has a right to fight it.

      I hope I can encourage people to unite in combating this menace.

    • Cogerson profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia

      A very interesting and very sad hub....your hub has gotten my mind pondering lots of different things....voted up

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @daffodil2010: Thank you for your trust.

    • daffodil2010 profile image


      7 years ago

      thanks for this hub voted up

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks for the comment, Phoebe. Yes, I agree; but in Third world countries, like Philippines, most Filipinos work abroad to alleviate their living standards. Some are lured or even forced to do illegal ways and some didn't even know they're doing it because of too much trust on their company or agents.

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      7 years ago

      The real issue is that people have double standards, it's not okay if it's not their family, friends or even themselves. A lot of the politicians will turn a blind eye to anyone who they know doing it.


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