Mayor orders closure of Red Lips bikini bar
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/ATO (The Freeman) - November 26, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Government ordered for the closure of a bar located along General Maxilom Avenue after the Regional Trial Court found three of the establishment’s employees guilty for qualified trafficking in persons.

In his November 18 order, Mayor Michael Rama directed the Prevention Restoration Order Beauti-fication Enhancement personnel to padlock the Red Lips Bikini Bar, Inc.

“In view of the foregoing, the Mayor’s Business Permit of Red Lips Bikini Bar is hereby revoked and you are ordered to close the operation of your business upon receipt of this order,” read Rama’s order.

The order was addressed to a certain Infate Meldy, representative of the bar.  PROBE chief Raquel Arce said her office implemented the closure order of the mayor yesterday at 4 p.m.

“This Office (Office of the Mayor) received a copy the Decision dated 22 September 2015 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 17, Cebu City, for Criminal Case No. CBU-96387, People of the Philippines vs. Bughao,, for Violation of Section 4 (a) and (e) of R. A. 9208 (Qualified Trafficking). Based on the Decision, the Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Qualified Trafficking in Persons committed at Red Lips Bikini Bar,” Rama’s order reads.

On June 21, 2015, the agents of National Bureau of Investigation-7 raided Red Lips Bikini Bar, which led to the rescue of 26 young women. The court later convicted Janeth Bughao, Genevieve Badiang and Sheila Dedicatoria for qualified trafficking.

Rama said the closure order is issued pursuant to the Board resolution of Cebu City Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking Person (CCIACAT).

Under section 11 (c) of the Cebu City Ordinance No.2163 or the Cebu City Anti-Trafficking in Persons Ordinance, the Office of the Mayor is authorized to cancel the licenses of the establishment or its owner, or any of its staff, violates the provisions of R. A. 9208, also known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons of 2003.

Vice Chairperson of CCIACAT and City Councilor Lea Japson said the CCIACAT board issued the resolution for the closure of the bar after it received the court decision.

“To recommend to the Office of the Mayor, that the Business Permit and/or license to operate of Red Lips Bikini Bar located at Mango Avenue Cebu City be revoked,” read the CCIACAT resolution.

Japson recalled that the agency inspected the bar in 2012. She said the bar should be closed since the violation is qualified trafficking.

She said it was the International Justice Mission that filed the complaint.

 “Kinahanglan sila ma- sirado kay qualified trafficking man ang ilaha unya dili nato palabyon kay kabalo nata nga mao ni ilang business. Ato pa ganing gipahugtan ang atong balaod karon para kon dili man mapawagtang, at least ma-minimize kay looy kaayo ang mga tao dinhi karon,” she said.

Japson said an approved amendment of City Ordinance 2163 gives teeth to the law, as City Ordinance 2433 requires all establishments to attend an orientation spearheaded by the CCIACAT before permit will be issued. (FREEMAN)


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