Rescued 32 human trafficking victims reunited with families

Miriam Garcia Desacada (The Freeman) - July 31, 2018 - 12:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — The 32 victims of human trafficking from Tacloban City — who were rescued by authorities from their “employer” in Sual, Pangasinan last July 19 — were reunited with their respective families on Thursday (July 26) in this city.

In a news conference where the victims were presented to the local media, they narrated how their Chinese employer, a fish pen operator at Barangay Baquioen in Sual, Pangasinan, maltreated and subjected them to hard labor.

After their rescue, the victims were turned over by the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Region 1 officials, headed by Clarivel Banzuela, to the DSWD-Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) and the Tacloban City Social Welfare and Development officials.

Counseling and psychological intervention, on top of financial assistance, were given to the rescued victims — through the DSWD-8 and the local government units of Pangasinan, and Tacloban City under Mayor Cristina Romualdez.

The “employer,” for his part, was charged with illegal detention and violation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

Tacloban City Prosecutor Ann Arica told The Freeman and The Philippine Star that she hopes that these recent victims of human trafficking from Eastern Visayas will be given justice.

The National Bureau of Investigation will be filing the case against the three Chinese nationals, as the “main recruiter,” and a certain Dick Moreno who personally came to Tacloban and allegedly recruit the 32 people.

Hoping that the NBI will see to it that sufficient evidences will be presented in court so that justice, via a successful case, will be granted to the victims, Arica said.

Meanwhile, data showed that Eastern Samar topped the most number of cases of human trafficking cases. Just last night, two suspected human traffickers, both women, were caught on the act of sexually abusing three minors via live streaming in the internet to foreign customers.

Joint operatives of the Samar Police and the International Justice Mission conducted the raid in Calbayog City and Sta. Margarita town, both in Samar province, and the suspects were charged with sexual exploitation of minors. (FREEMAN) 

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