17 'bar girls' rescued in Benguet town
Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - March 18, 2014 - 7:02pm

BUGUIAS, Benguet – Seventeen “bar girls”, including several minors, were rescued from girlie bars in Abatan, Buguias town in Benguet Monday night.

Social welfare officers backed up by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-North Central Cordillera) who were tipped off about these young girls working in nightspots in the town swooped down on several night establishments to rescue the girls from exploitation.

Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera director Leonardo Reynoso said the youngest girl was 14 while the oldest was 21.

Four women who were managers, handlers,  and establishment cashiers voluntarily went with the authorities though, and Reynoso said they will face charges.

Some of the girls have to undergo dental procedures to scientifically ascertain if they were indeed minors “because they might just fake their ages”.  Some names are not appearing before the National Statistics Office database, Reynoso said.

Six of the girls were from San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan; one from San Rafael, also in Bulacan; four from Region 1 (Ilocos Sur; Alaminos, Pangasinan; San Gabriel, La Union and Agoo, also in La Union);  six from Cordillera ( 3 Mankayan, Benguet; 1 Paracelis, Mt. Province; 1 Bauko, Mt. Province; 1 Itogon, Benguet).

The authorities “raided” the “bar girls” around 10 p.m. Monday night and were immediately brought to Baguio City for processing.

Reynoso said the rescued bar girls arrived in Baguio City with the authorities at around 4:30 a.m., “lacked sleep” and needed time “to (pack) their (things)."

Sr. Supt. Jimmy Catanes, regional officer of the CIDG-North Central Cordillera refused to divulge  the names of the rescued bar girls and also their “handlers” so as not to create any stigma on them as they were in a very sensitive situation.

Minors will be turned over to their parents, Reynoso said, “after the DSWD has assessed the parental capability of their parents.”  But the four “handlers” will be facing charges.

Night spots are thriving in the town  as it is a commercial center in Northern Benguet for vegetable traders and mining in nearby Mankayan town.

The area is also being touted as “Benguet’s Little Las Vegas” because of the flourishing gambling operations in the area.

 

BAGUIO CITY BENGUET BENGUET MONDAY BULACAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION GROUP DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT-CORDILLERA GIRLS MT. PROVINCE NORTH CENTRAL CORDILLERA REYNOSO
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