MANILA, Philippines – Thirteen sexually exploited women, including 2 minors, and 18 other victims of illegal recruitment were rescued in two separate operations in the provinces of Laguna and Tawi-tawi.
“I thank all the member-agencies of the IACAT (Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking) for their unwavering vigilance in going after human traffickers, especially those who exploit our women, children and less fortunate kababayans," Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a statement.
Binay, who is also IACAT’s Chairman Emeritus, said the latest operations proved the government’s resolve to end human trafficking in the country.
On Wednesday evening, IACAT members together with the Women and Children's Protection Division (WCPD) of the Biñan Police Station rescued 13 women and arrested three suspected pimps at a resort in Biñan.
IACAT personnel from the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) posed as customers and ordered young women from the pimps for a stag party at the Presko Resort in Brgy. San Antonio.
The pimps were arrested when they accepted the marked money after delivering the women, which including two minors aged 15 and 16 years.
The suspects will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Meanwhile, joint elements of the IACAT, Tawi-Tawi Police Provincial Office, and the Tawi-Tawi Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday rescued seven women and 11 men who were about to be smuggled to Malaysia.
The 18 victims were already on board the M/V Trisha 2 ship docked at the Bongao town pier when they were rescued. They are now in the custody of the DSWD for debriefing and counseling.