The Philippine Star
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Monday warned that entertainment establishments in the city will face permanent closure if they continue staging lewd shows or employing minors as entertainers.
Superintendent Franklin Moises Mabanag, chief of the QCPD-Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, said he has received an instruction from QCPD director Senior Superintendent Magtanggol Gatdula to come up with a consolidated list of all the establishments raided recently and verify which among them still continue to violate rules despite police crackdown on them.
Mabanag said first-time offenders will face closure for 15 days. They will be closed for 30 days for the second offense. Permanent closure will be imposed on third-time offenders.
As this developed, Mabanag said they are now also going after customers of these bars, who he said are also punishable under the law.
According to Mabanag, Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act penalizes "any person who buys or engages the services of the trafficked person for prostitution."
First-time offenders could face six-month community service and P50,000 in fine. Succeeding offenses will be sanctioned with a year in prison and P100,000 in fine.
Mabanag said that unlike in the past when raids usually targeted guest relation officers and entertainers, the new law punishes the owner of the bar and its customers.
"In the past, the law was punitive on these GROs. When the law was passed in 2003, they’re considered as victims rather than offenders," he said.
A team from the general investigation section of the QCPD-CIDU led by Chief Inspector Cherry Lou Donato and Inspector Roberto Razon raided Sunday night "Encounter Disco" at Welcome Rotonda.
Thirteen female entertainers were rescued including one woman who was performing nude.
Police also arrested five employees and customers present at the bar during the raid. – Reinir Padua