By Jeffrey Damicog
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II warned human traffickers that the government will run after them following the arrest of a suspected human trafficker and the rescue of 13 of her victims by government authorities.
Aguirre identified the suspect as Shiela Estueta, 45, a resident of Buklod Nayon, Caloocan City.
“May this serve as a warning for other human trafficking predators who take advantage of the vulnerabilities of our fellowmen; the government will get you,” he said in a statement.
Estueta was arrested during an entrapment operation led by the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD) last January 21 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), which Aguirre chairs, participated in the operation.
The Secretary noted that Estueta is a member of a syndicate which targets unsuspecting Filipinos in dire need of work abroad.
The 13 human trafficking victims are now in the custody of the overseas welfare group Advocates and Keepers Organizations of Overseas Filipino Workers (AKO-OFW).
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has already committed to provide cash assistance to the rescued victims while the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) will also place them under the “Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay Program.”