DILG lauds PCTC rescue of 58 human trafficking victims PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 August 2011 13:17

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo lauded the agents of the Philippine Center for Transnational Crimes (PCTC) after rescuing 58 potential victims of human trafficking.  

According to Robredo, 41 of those rescued were women during separate operations in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay and in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi recently.
Robredo said the illegal recruitment victims were promised non-existent jobs in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Jordan, Lebanon and Qatar by unknown facilitators.

In a report submitted to the DILG by PCTC executive director Felizardo Serapio Jr., and coursed thru DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno, Robredo said 15 women victims were rescued in Ipil last June 22 while 26 women and 17 men, including three minor children were rescued in Bongao last June 17.

“The recent rescue operations conducted by agents of the PCTC in Zamboanga Sibugay and Tawi-Tawi indicate that human trafficking syndicates in the country still operate with impunity despite the enactment of harsh laws to deter it,” the DILG chief said, referring to Republic Act 9208 or the anti-human trafficking act.

“This is a crime against humanity where Filipino recruiters dupe job-hungry Filipinos and sell them as sex-slaves in other foreign country’s sex tourism industry. The leaders and members of these mindless and heartless human trafficking syndicates should be hanged,” he added.

In the Zamboanga Sibugay operations, the 15 women, five of them coming from Luzon, and the rest from Cotabato City and other parts of Maguindanao, were recruited and herded by a certain Ms. Carmella Maranag inside a hotel in Ipil where PCTC agents rescued them.

Maranag was apprehended by the PCTC while her cohort, identified as Narding Damahan and who is supposed to facilitate the travel of the victims via the Southern backdoor to Malaysia, managed to elude arrest. The victims were brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Home for Women in Zamboanga City for temporary shelter and counseling.

In the rescue operations in Tawi-Tawi, the victims were rescued in Bgy. Simandagit in Bongao town by the Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force, Philippine Navy, PCTC who were billeted in separate houses in the area by a certain “Sir Ben.”

A certain Lyn of Bongao recruited the victims from certain areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, turned over to a certain Bongao-based “Sir Ben” who allegedly has “contacts” in Sabah, Malaysia.

The rescued 26 female victims were brought to the Visayan forum Foundation Inc at the PPA Halfway House while the 17 others were turned over to the Processing Center for Displaced Person of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, both in Zamboanga City.

Local human trafficking syndicates usually target female recruits, with ages ranging from 13 to 30 and coming from poor families, and lure them for non-existent overseas employment.

When deployed abroad, they usually end up working in bars engaged in commercial sex exploitation - exposed to sexually transmitted or other infectious diseases and vulnerable to beatings, sexual abuse and humiliation.