MANILA — Immigration operatives have arrested a Korean national accused of trafficking Filipino women in a nightclub in General Santos City.
Some 22 women, who were allegedly made to perform lewd acts inside the club owned by the suspect, were also rescued during the raid.
The Bureau of Immigration's Mindanao intelligence task group conducted the raid on June 13 upon orders from Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.
Morente ordered to deport the suspect who was found to have overstayed in the country after the latter's tourist visa expired on Jan. 19.
"If convicted, he will have to serve his sentence first before we can deport him. Afterwards, we will place him in our blacklist to prevent him from returning to the Philippines," he said in statement released Friday.
The suspect is currently detained in the bureau's facility in Davao.
Morente added that "aliens who prey on our poor women by forcing them into prostitution do not deserve the privilege to stay in the country."
For 4 years in a row, the Philippines has retained the highest status in its compliance with measures against human trafficking in the United States' annual "Trafficking in Persons" report.
The report recognized efforts made by government agencies in eradicating trafficking, but it also cited the state's shortcomings, including the failure to prosecute traffickers vigorously and inadequate access to support services for survivors.