Celso takes pride in 6th anti-trafficking conviction PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 July 2011 16:56

Zamboanga City remains to be in the forefront in the fight against human trafficking, as combined efforts from the concerned agencies resulted to the recent conviction of a woman for violation of Republic Act 9208—the 6th for the city since 2005.

Mayor Celso Lobregat on Tuesday proudly announced the decision handed down last June 30, 2011 by Judge Gregorio de la Peña III of Branch 12 sentencing Mary Glenn Anos to life imprisonment and to pay the fine of P2 million for gross violation of provisions of RA 9208 otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

Docketed criminal case number 22969, the case was actively handled by 3rd Assistant City Prosecutor and head of Regional Task Force on Anti-Trafficking in Persons in Region-9 Darlene Pajarito, who was recently cited by the US State Department as one of the world’s 10 heroes in the fight against trafficking, Mayor Lobregat proudly revealed.

Zamboanga City records the highest number of convictions since 2005—it obtained the first sex trafficking conviction in 2005 that saved the Philippines from being downgraded to tier 2 and the first labor conviction in 2011—all courtesy of the presentation of Atty. Pajarito. The city likewise has the most number of anti-trafficking cases pending in court among the different cities in the country.

The latest conviction stemmed from the recruitment and deployment of overseas workers to Malaysia on October 27, 2006. Court records state: “the accused, conspiring and confederating together, mutually aiding and assisting with one another, without having previously obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), license or authority to engage in the recruitment and deployment of overseas workers did then and t here willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, illegally recruit for a promised employment abroad particularly in Malaysia supposedly to work thereafter as waitress and cashier thus causing and prompting the persons Maricel Lamar y Arsenal and Junilla Quiamco y Anoco to apply, which employment, however, did not materialize because in truth and in fact the promised employment is non-existent thereby causing damage and prejudice  to each complainants, further, the commission of the above-stated offense tantamounts to economic sabotage in that the same was committed by a syndicate, all in flagrant violation of the above cited law”.

Meanwhile, Mayor Lobregat said the city government under his administration will continuously collaborate efforts with the different agencies concerned to help stem human trafficking which is a global concern.

He added that the support and cooperation of all agencies concerned to the common cause will no doubt discourage traffickers and their cohorts from pursuing their evil plans.  — Sheila Covarrubias