Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today said 50 women alleged to human trafficking victims in Zamboanga City have been rescued.
“Ikinalulugod ko pong ibalita sa inyo na nitong umaga, bandang 11:30, nailigtas ng Task Force Human Trafficking ang humigit-kumulang limampung kababaihan na karamihan ay menor de edad sa Zamboanga City na posibleng biktima ng human trafficking,” Binay said during a press conference at the Coconut Palace.
Binay, Chairman Emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment, said all victims hailed from Makiri in Isabela City, Basilan.
He said the victims were promised of a scholarship from the national government and that to qualify they were supposed to take an examination to be conducted by the National Youth Commission (NYC).
“Ngunit sa pag-iimbestiga ng Task Force, nakumpirma namin mula mismo kay Commissioner Earl Saavedra ng NYC na wala silang nakatakdang anumang eksaminasyon,” the anti-trafficking czar said.
He added that the victims are now under the care of the Visayan Forum and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Binay also said that the recruiter – a government employee – was also apprehended, with charges of violation of RA 9208 (Anti-Human Trafficking Act) and RA 7610 ( Protection Against Child Abuse) set to be filed against the person.
Binay thanked all government agencies who were involved in the success of the rescue operation.
“Nais kong pasalamatan ang lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno na nagtutulong-tulong sa operasyong ito, na muling nagpapatunay sa determinasyon ng inyong pamahalaan sa pamumuno ni Pangulong Aquino, na sugpuin ang human trafficking at ang pagsasamantala sa ating mga kabataan,” he said.
“Gayundin sa Visayan Forum, ang isa sa ating mga kasamang non-government organizations (NGOs) sa kampanya laban sa human trafficking,” he concluded.#