50 trafficked persons rescued in Baliwasan PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:21

Operatives of multi-agency Sea Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) have rescued some 50 would-be human trafficking victims on board a Sandakan-bound vessel at a privately-owned wharf in Baliwasan Seaside, this city.

Initial report showed that the would-be human trafficking victims from different parts of Zamboanga Peninsula were rescued on board M/L Nurhira, docked at the wharf in Baliwasan Seaside, which was about to depart for Sandakan, Sabah Malaysia, formerly North Borneo.

The task force is composed of personnel from different government and non-government agencies, among which are the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), City Social Welfare and Development Office, Visayan Forum, Bureau of Immigration,

The rescued victims were brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development where they were processed for assistance to bring them back to their respective places of origin.

On October 25, four women were rescued by the SBATTF in Sangali and last August other would-be trafficking victims were rescued by policemen backed by operatives of the multi-agency Sea-Based Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF).

They were the third batch to be rescued in the month of August alone by the authorities while in transit to Malaysia via this city.

Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro, Zamboanga City police director, said five of those rescued were identified as Dennis Lukenario, 19; Adrianne Balde, 18; Roldan Morados, 22; Alfredo Pahialgao, 22; and, Aljun Jimenez, 19. The other three were minors aged 16 to 17.

He said investigation showed they were recruited in Barangays Bato and Maligaya in Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay to work in Malaysia.

The first batch to be rescued consisted of 13 women. They were recruited in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao region, to work in Malaysia and Lebanon.

They were rescued on Aug. 4 while they were about to board a commercial vessel at the local port.

A vessel owned by a local shipping firm plies once a week the Zamboanga-Malaysia route and vice-versa via Sandakan, Sabah.

The second batch to be rescued consisted of 24 people who were rescued at the local wharf.

The Philippine Center for Transnational Crime-Western Mindanao Field Office said the victims were bound for Malaysia and were recruited from Basilan, Sulu, Iloilo and Metro Manila.

Authorities have tightened the watch at the local wharf after it was discovered that it is being used as a jump-off point by human traffickers. – Vic Larato