EXECUTIONS of overseas Filipino workers convicted of drug trafficking in foreign countries will go on unabated unless the government goes after the drug syndicates which prey on hapless OFWs who are lured to act as couriers for a fee.

When caught, these couriers, better known as drug mules, bear the brunt of brutal consequences, oftentimes without legal aid from their home government.

In the case of the three Filipinos executed in China recently, all the government did was to write the Chinese leader for clemency or reduced sentence on behalf of the doomed convicts.

Beyond a short stay of execution, China later proceeded to carry out its court decision.

Today, more than 70 OFWs are in death row for the same offenses although a few have been given two-year reprieves.

Some sentences may be commuted to life in prison.

The government shares the blame for its kid-glove treatment of recruiters, let alone of the powerful and well-heeled drug syndicates who employ them.

Like the jueteng lords, the drug lords are virtually out of reach of the law because of their political clout and influence.

Can you imagine the alleged recruiter of executed drug courier Sally Ordinario-Villanueva running rings around the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice?

First, the NBI could not haul in the suspect, Tita Cacayan, of Isabela, because the agents did not have an arrest warrant for her.

Second, the DOJ prosecutors gave her more time than usual to answer the charges against her on the flimsy ground that she had no lawyer.

There ought to be a stiff censure against inept NBI agents and lax prosecutors who are lackadaisical if not complicit with these recruiters who present a clear and present danger to society.

There ought to be a law to bring them to their knees, if not to the gallows.

Hence, we are heartened to know that Marikina (Rizal) Rep. Milo Quimbo has filed such a law in Congress that would “penalize anyone using or conspiring to use people as drug mules with life imprisonment and a fine of P5 million to P25 million.”

We commend the Marikina congressman for his timely proposal to take the bull by the horn and to prevent further exploitation of unwary couriers who leave for abroad to seek a better future for their families at home.

At the end of their contracts, and having helped the economy stay on an even keel through their hard-earned dollars, they should be welcomed home as saviors, in fact, heroes.

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