Phillipines: 20 women rescued from traffickers


JOINT operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Human Trafficking Division, the Blas F. Ople Center, and member-agencies of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking rescued 20 women including several minors bound for Dubai and eventually Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon from a transit house inside Villanueva Village in Paranaque City Monday afternoon.

In a press conference following the rescue mission held at the NBI headquarters in Manila Monday night, Vice President Jejomar Binay, also IACAT chairman emeritus, vowed stronger action against illegal recruiters and human traffickers especially of women bound for Syria.

He said the women, mostly from Mindanao, were promised overseas jobs as household workers.

The women said they did not know their final destination and their employers as they first had to go to Dubai.

The transit house was as bungalow rented by the illegal recruitment syndicate for P13,000 a month, and was bare of furniture, forcing the women to sleep on pieces of cardboard and “banigs.”

The house was identified by an informant who sought the help of the Ople Center out of concern for a relative who remains trapped in Syria.

“We call on the public to help us identify more of these transit homes for victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment as well as to notify immediately the police and local governments if they know of people recruiting illegally for Dubai, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon,” Susan Ople of the Blas F. Ople Center said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration arrested a woman caught facilitating the departure three undocumented overseas Filipino workers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the woman, a Filipino-Belgian, was apprehended at the NAIA 2 departure area.

David said the suspect and her victims were about to board a Philippine Airlines flight to Bangkok when they were intercepted by elements of the bureaus travel control and enforcement unit.

David, however, declined to divulge the names of the passengers as the Anti-human Trafficking Act prohibits the public disclosure of human traffickers and their victims.

The victims allegedly admitted during investigation that their final destination was Paris, France, and that they were hired to work there by the suspect.

They also claimed that each of them paid the suspect P500,000 in exchange for facilitating their trip and employment in France. With Vito Barcelo

Source:  Manila Standard Today, Human Trafficking News Daily

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