TV news source denies report on ‘tira beinte’ PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 11:52

by sheila covarrubias

One of the sources in the supposed ‘tira beinte’ report aired on national television last week has issued an official statement denying he confirmed the existence of prostitution activities at the Masepla transitory site in Mampang.

Hairun Lakibul, program manager of Human Development and Empowerment Services (HDES) has expressed dismay that the TV network tagged him as one of the sources of the report on the supposed flesh trade in Masepla saying “it was a complete untruth.” He likewise expressed shock that what was supposed to be a training workshop for young journalists, turned out to be a topic in national news.

The TV report alleged the existence of ‘tira beinte’ in Masepla where young girls supposedly engage in prostitution in exchange of P20. Lakibul and a young girl from Masepla were the news sources.

In his statement, subscribed and sworn before a notary public January 22, 2016, Lakibul recounted that the said news report stemmed from a training workshop organized by the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and facilitated by ABS-CBN Bayan Mo Ipatrol Mo last January 12 at the Sinunuc Social Action Resource and Training Center. HDES was tapped to identify the participants along with the Ateneo-ACCA and Social Action Center.  About 40 youths, mostly from the Mampang, Buggoc, Tulungatung and Taluksangay transitory sites and staff from HDES, Ateneo ACCA and SAC attended the activity.

The workshop, according to Lakibul aimed to empower young people to become active and responsible participants in development by identifying needs and issues in their localities and in calling for action and solution from concerned agencies and equipped with citizen journalism skills, the participants will have the opportunity to set agenda for development action.

Last Jan. 14, he continued, the participants were sent out for a field visit to Masepla and Buggoc transitory sites where they were required to take photos, videos and interviews focusing on issues and problems as well as positive stories related to child’s rights and issues. In the course of the filed visit, most of the participants were asked by the TV network on a lot of issues, one of which was prostitution. Lakibul’s views on the issue were also solicited.

“In the course of our discussion, I had mentioned in passing that sometime in the past, there were incidents of prostitution in evacuation center. That it might be due to congestion. I never mentioned that it is happening now at Masepla transitory site. I was also unaware that there was an interview made to a young girl, apparently, a resident and a participant of the training workshop,” Lakibul attested.

The report, he added has caused irreparable damage to him and to the young participant and that he has no other recourse but to formalize an incident report to clarify that he has “no knowledge of any prostitution going on nor confirmed report of the presence of prostitutes engaging in ‘tira beinte’ in Masepla transitory site.

City Social Welfare and Development Officer Socorro Rojas sought has sought to validate the report. She said such cases happened in transitory sites last year but these were successfully eradicated through various interventions. She said the women found to be involved in the flesh trade were not from the transitory sites. — Sheila Covarrubias