Cong. Mercado warns
local OFWs to be wary of being used as mule for illegal drug
By BONG PEDALINO
MAASIN CITY – A mule
is an animal used as beast of burden in other countries, having a
horse-like appearance but usually smaller than a regular horse.
In the illegal drug
trade, especially abroad, they also have a language called a “mule,”
which means a carrier of a banned substance, like cocaine, among
But this carrier, who
is an unsuspecting person, mostly a Filipino overseas worker who just
obliged out of courtesy or social favor, does not know what he or she
was carrying about, until an arrest by authorities reveal an
inconvenient truth: illegal drugs was in his, her possession.
That individual has
become a mule for illegal drug syndicates, without him, her knowing
it, and we should be wary about this kind of modus operandi, warned
Rep. Roger Mercado.
During his bi-monthly
radio program over DYDM yesterday, Cong. Mercado cautioned his
listeners particularly those with relatives or family members working
abroad to resist as politely as possible any request to bring a
personal, hand-carried item from someone whom they knew, even a
friend, how much more a stranger.
He said this was the
reason many OFWs now founded themselves in jail for a crime which they
have been fallen as an unwitting victim.
The Southern Leyteño
solon made the warning when he was asked for updates on the case of a
Maasinhon OWF, his neighbor in Barangay Abgao, by the name of Rudelia
Palima, who ended up in a jail in Iran for carrying a banned substance
the “padala” way, or the mule way early this year.
Palima’s case was
already refered to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretar
Conejos, the one in-charge in handling such kind of concerns, Mercado
said, adding that a fund was already set to reach the prison in Iran.
He said he immediately
saw in person DFA Secretary Alberto Romulo after learning about
Rudelia’s father, who
was listening since the start of the radio program, called in to say
on-air his gratitude for the efforts made by the solon to free her
him and all the other listeners to keep on praying for the safe
release of the Maasihon OFW, even as he reiterated his call to be
always on alert so no one will be a mule again.