15 more human trafficking victims rescued in Tawi-Tawi PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 May 2012 16:05

Government authorities have rescued 15 human trafficking victims on two separate operations in the province of Tawi-Tawi, officials disclosed yesterday.

Tawi-Tawi police director Senior Supt. Rodelio Jocson eight of the 15 were rescued last Wednesday while the remaining seven, including one minor, were rescued last Thursday.

Jocson said the victims, all female, were rescued while they were about to be transported out of the country, most likely to nearby Malaysia, from the municipality of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

He said the victims were turned over to the Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF), a non-stock, non-profit organization that works for the protection of vulnerable migrants, including victims of human trafficking, forced labor, and other modern-day forms of slavery.

Ailyn Repadas, a VFF staff, disclosed that some of the victims are from Zamboanga City and nearby provinces in the region and as well as from the Visayas and Luzon regions.

Jocson said they were rescued by the combined forces of the Tawi-Tawi Police Provincial Anti-Trafficking Task Group (PATTG) and the Bongao Inter-Agency Task Forces Against Trafficking (BIATFAT).

Vice-President Jejomar Binay, who sits as the Chairman Emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), lauded the successful rescue of the victims.

In a statement yesterday, Binay said the latest string of operations showed “the government’s commitment to curb human trafficking in the country.”

Binay said human trafficking syndicates were using the Bongao seaport to “facilitate the transportation of the victims” to foreign destinations. – Bong Garcia, Jr.