MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) reported that it intercepted 64 people bound for Malaysia in October in Tawi-tawi.
“The Bongao seaport is a favorite exit point of trafficking syndicates due to its proximity to the Malaysian mainland,” Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a statement.
Binay, who is also chairman emeritus of IACAT, said the operations were conducted on October 5, 7 and 8. Those intercepted failed to present travel documents to Malaysia.
He said the 64 were recruited from various parts of the country. They were turned over to a non-governmental organization (NGO) for debriefing, counseling and temporary shelter.
Meanwhile, IACAT has also intensified its campaign against domestic labor trafficking which resulted in the rescue of two women, including a minor, from their abusive employer in Pasig City.
The two women who hail from Zamboanga del Norte said they were originally promised to work as salesladies in Marawi City but were instead brought to Manila on July 30 to work as domestic helpers.
Binay said the women were not allowed to go outside and were only paid one month’s wages despite having worked for their employer for four months.
“The two victims said they had wanted to go home but were prevented by their employer from doing so. Their employer has been arrested and is now in the custody of the NBI,” he added.