19 girls rescued at Manila videoke bar; 'pimps' nabbed

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2018 01:34 PM

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MANILA - The Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center (PNP WCPC) rescued 19 girls, including high school students, in an entrapment operation at a videoke bar in Sampaloc district here Thursday night. 

Surveillance video showed the suspect counting marked money paid by WCPC operatives who posed as customers in exchange for a girl’s company. 

Operatives from WCPC, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development immediately raided Gab’s Videoke Bar on the corner of Maceda and Laong Laan Streets.

According to WCPC chief Director William Macavinta, police were able to monitor students being offered to customers during surveillance operations at the videoke bar. 

“Nag-aaral ang mga bata na nagsa-sideline sa club. Pagkatapos ng klase, pumupunta rito para makakuha ng kliyente,” Macavinta said. 

(The girls go to school and work at the club on the side. After their classes, they come here to get clients.)

Inside the videoke bar were several tables for entertaining customers, a stage in the middle with a pole for dancing and VIP rooms on the second floor. 

“Nagre-range ang edad nila ng 15 to 17, mga high school... may cubicle na puwede nang mangyari ang hinahangad ng mga customer,” Macavinta explained.

(Their ages range from 15 to 17, maybe high school students. There are cubicles were what the customer wants can happen.)

Authorities arrested 3 suspects believed to be pimps who allegedly preyed on students outside school premises to offer them “jobs” at the videoke bar. 

“May tinatawag silang 'mother pimp' nila na kumukontak sa kanila para mabigyan po sila ng mga kustomer,” Macavinta said. 

(They have a "mother pimp" who would contact them to give them customers.)

Authorities urged school administrators to remind their students not to engage in suspicious activities. 

“Trafficking is a growing global concern so dapat talaga lahat tayo makialam tulad ng concerned authorities, ang agencies," Macavinta said.

(Trafficking is a growing global concern so we should all take part in addressing it, including concerned authorities, agencies.)

"I-report kung mayroon tayong information o indicators na may kaduda-dudang nangyayari sa mga bata,” he added.

(Report if you have information or indicators that there is something suspicious happening to the child.)

Macavinta also reminded parents to know their children's whereabouts after school. 

Some students, he said, tell their parents they get home late due to “school activities.”