By Jeffrey Damicog
Five persons engaged in human trafficking operations were arrested, while, 28 of their female victims were rescued by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) during an entrapment operation in Makati City.
NBI deputy director Ferdinand Lavin identified the arrested persons as Edwin Bayona who was identified as the manager of the illegal operation, Alfredo Valenzona, Richard Cahusay, Agustin Ramirez and Charlie Quiobe.
They have been charged with violating Republic Act 9208, the Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, as amended by RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012).
The five suspects were arrested by NBI’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD) during an operation on August 15 at a house in Barangay Palanan, Makati City where the illegal operation is being done.
During the operation, AHTRAD operatives also rescued 28 females including two minors.
The 28 female victims are now in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
AHTRAD chief Janet Francisco said the operation was conducted after her office received reports about the illegal activities.
Francisco said the female victims were offered for sex to foreigners for P2,000.
She also learned from the people in the neighborhood that the house has been used for the illegal operations for over 10 years.
Francisco added the house has been raided a number of times but continue to operate allegedly because it is owned by an influential person.
In the meantime, Francisco assured that investigation continues to identify who is behind the human trafficking operations.