2 minors rescued from Bataan brothel

By JESS MALABANAN/ ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2009 05:12 PM | Updated as of Jan 17 2009 01:12 AM

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga - Government agents rescued Thursday two "angels" reportedly recruited and forced to work by a syndicate as prostitutes in a Videoke bar situated along the shoreline of Barangay Alasasin, Mariveles, Bataan.

Lydia, 14, and Anita,16 (not their real names) were working as guest relations officers or GROs at the Kulot's Videoke Bar despite their young age, said Senior Supt. Marvin Bolabola, regional chief of the 3rd Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (3CIDU), stationed here.

Bolabola said Bataan 3CIDU Provincial Office caught the two "angels" receiving customers inside the bar. He said they had received information that Kulot Videoke Bar is used as a front of a prostitution syndicate recruiting minors as sex workers.

The information prompted them to launch an operation plan "Sagip-Anghel" backed by personnel from the Provincial Social Welfare Development that led to the arrest of the owner of the bar identified as Nilda Estrada Vergara.

Vergara did not resist when collared by the raiding team. He is set to face child abuse and trafficking charges.

Bolabola said that aside from employing minors, the bar does not have a business permit. He said PSWD recommended for the permanent closure of the establishment after the raid.

The rescued "angels" were immediately accompanied by PSWD to their office and turned over to the "Bahay-panuluyan", a home for abused children and battered women in Balanga City.

In a related development, three persons were arrested by agents of the Zambales 3CIDU provincial team during a raid at a gay bar in Barangay Calapacuan, Subic town.

Jonathan Belegan Batinga, 39, Monaliza Gustuir, 25, of Old Cabalan, Olongapo City and Imelda Celedonio, 41, of Barangay Calapacuan, Subic, Zambales.

The suspects were collared while performing lewd shows in front of customers, police said.

A criminal case is being readied for filing in court against the suspects.