Labella said the establishment will be punished if found that there’s liability on its part on the illegal activity.
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Labella mulling closure order
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - August 20, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has ordered the City Legal Office to investigate the KTV Bar along General Maxilom Avenue where 28 people, including 11 minors, were rescued during the anti-trafficking operations of the authorities.

In his press conference yesterday, the mayor said he will not hesitate issuing a cease and desist order against the establishment if found responsible for the alleged sexual exploitation.

“At this point, I will ask the City Attorney to conduct an inquiry on the incident there. If that KTV is found to be responsible for hiring these minor children, then, aside from issuing cease and desist order, initiate criminal complaints against this KTV operator,” Labella said.

Initial investigation revealed that the police have monitored the establishment for weeks after receiving information that it was at the KTV bar that the suspects prostituted the victims.

Labella said the establishment will be punished if found that there’s liability on its part on the illegal activity.

“Ang mensahe nato nga kaning…labi pa gyud aning anti-trafficking, this is a very serious offense against our people. Maong kamong mga KTV operators dinha, even club…they should observe the rule of law,” the mayor said.

To ensure that all establishments in the city are being monitored, Labella said the city government will convene the City Anti-Indecency Board (CAIB).

CAIB, created under Cebu City Ordinance 1408 or the Anti-Indecency Ordinance, prohibits indecent and lewd shows in bars.

Labella said the city government, through CAIB, will oversee and monitor bars and other establishments against obscenity and lewd activities in the city.

Some of the people rescued in the anti-human trafficking raid last Saturday evening admitted to have voluntarily engaged in sexual exploitation due to poverty, said CCPO Public Information Officer, Police Captain Arieza Otida.

Among the 28 persons, some of them claimed that they were being recruited, while admitted that they decided on their own due to poverty.

The youngest among those saved was a 15-year-old girl and a high school student.

“Ang uban nanginahanglan financially that’s why ni-engage into this kay sa ato pang nakita sa atong mga previous cases it’s an easy money.  Actually, dali kaayong makuha in exchange of the services nga makuha,” Otiza said.

Among the three suspects nabbed was a 16-year-old minor who was allegedly the errand of their transactions.

“We are checking as well into the liability of the minor since nakita nato nga murag gihimo ni sya nga errand gani for this bugaw, he may be liable but (for a) lesser offense. We are still checking on the angle kung unsay maayong intervention for the minor and right now ongoing gihapon atong investigation,” Otiza said.

With the incident, the authorities were now intensifying the monitoring of the prostitutions especially with the involvement of the minors who were brought to public places.

“Nakita siguro based on our validation nabalik napud ang pagsiaw aning mga tawong magdala ug mga menor de edad sa kaning mga public places, so mao na karon atong gi-intensify atong police supervision for this one,” she added.

The authorities are also checking on the liability of the parents of the rescued minors for the possible charges that they could be facing.

“We are trying to ask the social welfare and we are calling the attention to have an intervention not just with the children but also for the parents nga nag matuto ning mga bata kay kinahanglan ato jud bantayan atong mga kabatan-onan karon labi na kay daghan kaayo ug influences,” Otiza said.

Otiza also calls on the public to report suspected people with minors  with them who will be seen in the public especially in resto bars, hotels and motels for the proper intervention. (FREEMAN)

EDGARDO LABELLA
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