Human trafficking victims saved in Las Pinas


By Jojo Malig,

MANILA, Philippines – Thirty-three people, including minors, have been rescued by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents and a government task force against human trafficking.

Armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Elizabeth Yu Guray of Las Pinas RTC Branch 202, a joint team from the NBI and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Task Force on Anti-Trafficking in Persons raided a house in Las Piñas City on Friday.

The raiding team found 33 people packed inside the house while a search yielded travel documents. A housekeeper was arrested.

A separate operation led to the arrest of two people, who will be charged with violating Republic Act (RA) 9208 or Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and RA 7610 or Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination.

The authorities did not identify the mastermind behind the suspected human trafficking scheme. A DZMM Teleradyo report said the victims came from the provinces and were promised jobs overseas.

Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, said the raid was made after 2 young women were intercepted at the NAIA on August 12.

One of the women admitted that she was just 17 years old and was recruited for employment as a domestic helper in Kuwait. Statements she gave to authorities led to surveillance operations and the subsequent raid in Las Piñas City.

She hails from Mindanao was recruited sometime in 2009 by an agency licensed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

The girl was turned over to the Visayan Forum Foundation Inc., an non-government organization that operates the Bahay Silungan sa Paliparan, a temporary shelter for would-be victims of human trafficking.

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