SBATTF members cited at Int’l Day of Trafficking commemoration rite PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 29 December 2012 14:19

Thirteen members of the Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) were commended by the Inter Agency against Trafficking (IACAT) of  the Department of Justice (DOJ) last December 12, for their relentless drive against trafficking.

The event held at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay was the annual commemoration of the International Day of Trafficking which is being observed every 12th of December.  Vice President Jejomar Binay and Department of Labor And Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz were the guests of honor.

All 13 awardees, who flew from Zamboanga City unaware of their role in the event, are Prosecutors Atty. Darlene R. Pajarito, Atty. Ivy Damayo-Elvina, Atty. Aureen M. Deles (all of DOJ-ZC), DSWD Social Worker Ma. Socorro Rojas, NBI Agent Ivan Peralta, Sitti Muksan (CIDG), Major Alex Lorenzo ( PCTC), Jackie Repadas of Visayan Forum, Ester Magtangob (CSWD-ZC), Lt. Cmdr. Eliezer Dalnay (Phil. CoastGuard) PO2 Carlo Cardenas (NISG, Phil. Navy), Adamson Clavecillas (PPA Port Police) and Maria Natty Mariano (PPA).

The said Task Force executes rescue and interception of trafficking cases which are deemed rampant in Region 9 considering that Zamboanga City is a gateway to other neighboring countries through the vessels that plies the Zamboanga-Malaysia routes weekly.

Among the task forces in the country, SBATTF ranks first in terms of performance.  Its best practices include profiling of activities at the local wharf and regular interception and monitoring rounds at the local air and sea ports.  Members also engage in interception and rescue operations whenever information of illegally trafficked persons are relayed to them.

The SBATTF in coordination with RIACAT 9’s efforts contributed much to the removal of Philippines from the US’s Tier 2 watchlist and upgraded to  a Tier 2 status. The rescue operations, apprehension of illegal traffickers and expedition of cases by the DOJ in Region 9 resulted to 6 convictions.

Last year, various commendations were also received by the Task Force.  No less than U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during the presentation of the 2011 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons held in Washington, DC cited the Philippines’ increased prosecution of traffickers and addressing corruption in trafficking-related cases.  During the presentation, Secretary Clinton presented Zamboanga City Prosecutor Darlene Pajarito with the State Department’s Global Trafficking in Persons’ Hero Award. 

Just recently, DSWD 9 Director Zenaida Arevalo presented good practices of the region/RIACAT during the ASEAN Convention on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) held in Manila.