Zambo’s anti-trafficking feats amaze Cebu IACAT PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 July 2012 14:17

“We came here to learn from the experiences of Zamboanga City in its fight against human trafficking. Your prevention and interception strategies coupled with your unparalleled conviction record are very impressive and worth of our emulation.”

Ligaya Abadesco of the Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc. from Cebu City made the statement shortly after she and her group called on the city caretaker, City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., in City Hall, where they were given a powerpoint presentation on the city’s innovations on anti-trafficking yesterday morning.

Abadesco, who is also a member of the Cebu City Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, specifically cited the executive order issued by Mayor Celso Lobregat in 2005 creating the ZCIACAT. “It added more teeth to the national law against trafficking in persons,” she said of the mayor’s executive order.
“We are also impressed by the active participation of the Department of Justice in the prosecution and eventual conviction of people involved in human trafficking. In the Philippines, sila ang the best,” Abadesco said, referring to the ZCIACAT.

According to her, the ZCIACAT also has impressive prevention and interception mechanisms that resulted in the rescue of trafficked persons from as far as Luzon and Metro Manila. “Mabilis ang koordinasyon ng nga agencies involved sa operasyon nila. And we want to learn this from Zamnoanga that is why we came here.”

Also providing Abadesco’s group with insights on the ZCIACAT activities were City Social Welfare and Development Officer Francisco Barredo and City Planning and Development Coordinator Rodrigo Sicat.

Today, the group will have a brownbag session with Assistant Prosecutor Darlene Pajarito, the city’s pride and one the World’s 10 Heroes in the fight against human trafficking as declared in 2011 by the United States, for her efforts that led to the conviction of human traffickers in the city.

To date, Zamboanga City has had six convictions, the highest rate of conviction in the entire Philippines with 20 over-all convictions.

Aside from the ZCIACAT, the city’s internationally acclaimed campaign against trafficking in persons is also being participated by the Regional Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (RIACAT), the Zamboanga Sea-Based     Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) and the Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc.-Zamboanga. — Vic Larato