Anti-trafficking drive nets 82 more victims PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 July 2013 11:05

The war against human trafficking continues.

A day after 49 victims were intercepted at a private wharf in Baliwasan Seaside on Tuesday, 82 more were rescued by the Zamboanga City Sea-Based Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force ( ZCSBATTF ) around 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the local wharf.

Chief Insp. Alexander Lorenzo, head of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crimes Western Mindanao Field  Office, disclosed that the 82 victim are composed of  two women, 80men and two children.

Lorenzo said the rescue was fortunate for one of the victims who was bringing with him his family with one-year-old and seven-year-old children.

Most of the victims came from Talibon, Bohol and Lapu-Lapu City. They left Cebu City aboard a commercial vessel  last July 1, 2013.

Investigation disclosed that when they arrived here at dawn on Wednesday, they stayed at the house of a certain  Hadja Badja. Their recruiter paid them each in advance the amount P 25,000. In Zamboanga City, they were accompanied by Jinjin Bacaltos, son of Benjin Bacaltos.their recruiter.

Investigation further revealed that during the rescue operation, the victims were about to leave for Sitangkai and Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. They were rescued aboard a commercial vessel bound for Tawi-Tawi.

According to Lorenzo, the victims were hired to work on deep sea fishing known as muro-ami in in Tawi-Tawi without any safety gear or protection on health.

Lorenzo said muro-ami fishing  is very dangerous to the health. According to experts,  the fishing method requires safety gear to protect their health like swimming suit for  protection against deep sea pressures.

The victims were given temporary shelter at the Department of Social Welfare and Development-9  Processing Center for Displaced Persons in Mampang. They are underwent profiling, counseling and debriefing before they are to be sent to their respective towns.

Lorenzo said the operation was carried out jointly with the PCTCWMFO, DSWD, Philippine Coast Guard Zamboanga Station, Port Police, Visayan Forum Foundation and  Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 9. — Allen Abastillas