‘Extra service’ in 2 spas busted
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - December 16, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Police in Cebu City swooped down Saturday night two branches of a massage parlor allegedly offering “extra service” to patrons, and rescued six persons, including two males, and arrested two employees.

Those arrested were identified as Marlene Moneba Saceda, 60, resident of Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, and a certain Nelsie Yetim Timon who also goes by the name Maria Nicole dela Cruz Albarico.

Saceda allegedly worked as manager while Timon as a cashier at La Esperanza Foot and Body Massage located along M.J. Cuenco Avenue in Barangay Mabolo and in Barangay Cogon-Ramos.

But according to the police, the suspects also allegedly dabbled in prostituting the therapists to willing customers in exchange for money.

Police Lieutenant Erlinda Mayam, chief of the Cebu City Police Office Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) told reporters that they hatched the operation following a weeklong surveillance that confirmed that the massage shops were being used as prostitution dens.

The surveillance came after police received reports from concerned citizens about the clandestine activities there.

Mayam said “clients” are willing to pay P500 or more for the extra service.

The two shops are owned by one person, who claimed not knowing about the ongoing illegal activities there.

“The owner said he did not know what was going on in the shops. We will investigate further to check if the claims are true,” said Mayam.

Mayam added that Saceda and Albarico were determined to be the receivers of the proceeds from the alleged prostitution activities and may therefore be considered as accessories to the crime.

Meanwhile, the rescued people were all of legal age. However, Mayam said they are still verifying if the address and the other information provided by them are true.

The rescued victims were already turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development while the suspects were brought to the WCPD where they are detained pending the filing of appropriate charges against them.

The victims will undergo intervention starting Monday.

Mayam hopes that their operation against La Esperanza serves as a warning to other massage parlor owners, as she reiterated that the police are strengthening their campaign against human trafficking and prostitution.

“I hope it would serve as a warning to other spas. This is our warning to them that we will continue the campaign against prostitution, so I hope they follow the ‘no extra service’ policy posted on their walls,” Mayam said. (FREEMAN)

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