Minor girl from Camotes rescued from bar in Luzon

(The Freeman) - January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation rescued a 17-year-old native of Camotes Island from a restobar in Santa Cruz, Laguna in Luzon where she was made into a “sex entertainer”.

The agency carried out the operation last Saturday after the victim’s mother sought its help following a distress call from the girl.

Aside from the 17-year-old, the NBI also rescued two other minors aged 16 and arrested a couple, Nelson and Mheann Lacsa.

The owners of the bar identified as Domingo and Patricia Malaza and two others who were subject of the operation, Carmel May Bensig and Nicole Bensig, were at large as of yesterday.

The NBI said it was Carmel who allegedly tricked the Camotes native to work as saleslady and it was Nicole, the former’s homosexual uncle, who referred the girl to the bar.

The NBI discovered that the bar maintained VIP rooms priced at 1,500 with in-house girls working as “sex entertainers”. Patrons would reportedly pay P2,000 for sex with a girl, half of the amount would go to the bar owner.

False promise

The 17-year-old girl said she left Camotes last December 17 after a friend promised her a high-paying job. As it would turn out, she ended up working at the bar.

She said she was barred from communicating with her parents and it was only three weeks after when she found the chance to give her mother a call and ask for help.

Her mother did not have any idea she was in Manila and thought only that her daughter was babysitting in Cebu City.

“Nahibaw-an lng nako pag-January 4  nga tua siya sa Manila. Nabalaka ko kay wala man siya nananghid. Ni-text siya nga dili siya okay kay ang mga taw ngadto man-yakis, nangorog ko,” she said in between tears. 

Akong gipangayo ang address pero mahadlok daw siya mohatag,” the mother recounted, crying.

She then sought the help of the NBI and the agency’s personnel here coordinated with their counterparts in Laguna.

Rescue

Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, chairperson of the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children (PCWC), said the rescue was carried out smoothly in coordination with the police and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 4.

“We followed the protocol and in the rescue, there was a social worker because it involved minors,” Magpale said.

NBI-7 Director Ricardo Diaz said the suspects will be charged with qualified trafficking under the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 since it involved children.

Sought for comment, Mheann denied involvement in the alleged operation and said she was only working as a cashier at the bar.

“Hindi po talaga ako nagsisinungaling at kaya ko pong patunayan yun,” Mhean said.

She said she was not involved in letting minor have sex for pay and that it was the decision of the entertainers whether or not to go with the customers. The customer would reportedly have to pay P3,000 if he wishes to bring an entertainer outside the bar.  (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BAR CAMOTES CAMOTES ISLAND CARMEL MAY BENSIG AND NICOLE BENSIG CEBU CITY CEBU VICE GOVERNOR AGNES MAGPALE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR RICARDO DIAZ DOMINGO AND PATRICIA MALAZA EXPANDED ANTI-TRAFFICKING
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