EDITORIAL — This southern corridor deserves to be watched more

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � This southern corridor deserves to be watched more

Fourteen suspected intended victims of human trafficking were rescued in Bongao port in Tawi-Tawi Province over the weekend, according to a report in the Philippine News Agency.

Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region director Police Brigadier General Prexy Tanggawohn said the 14 were prevented from leaving Bongao port to Sabah, Malaysia, via the M/V Ever Queen of Asia from Zamboanga City.

“They failed to present legal documents about their travel to Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan in Malaysia," Tanggawohn was quoted as saying in the same report.

We are sure this is nothing new, the so-called “southern corridor” is actually a cheaper way of getting people out of the Philippines. However, human traffickers may now be using this corridor more considering how scrutiny has actually improved in our international airports --at least for now. Remember that man arrested for taking a “girlfriend” out of the country on two separate occasions?

This is one disadvantage of a country with porous borders; a term for boundaries that cannot be easily patrolled or secured. While it is true that we are indeed separated from other countries by the sea, it’s that same sea that allows outsiders to easily come in and insiders to easily come out. All they need is a port on both ends.

Considering that there is no shortage of people who want a better life for themselves or their families, there will never be a lack of people who are willing to gamble with fate, even if what awaits them abroad isn’t really honest work.

This southern corridor deserves to be watched more. And we don’t just mean for Filipinos coming out, this also goes for foreigners coming in. We hate to admit it but we are slowly becoming a destination of choice for operators of prostitution dens, fake call centers, illegal gambling operations, and other criminal enterprises victimizing as well as utilizing foreigners.

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