A total of 231 members of the Badjao indigenous people were transported back to their homes in Zamboanga after they were rescued in a series of operations after reports of their arrival in Metro Manila.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) provided the transportation of the Badjaos who are classified as victims of human trafficking.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) rescued a total of 303 IP members who arrived at the North Harbor, Manila from Zamboanga City last Friday, June 4.
Personnel of the PCG provided medical assistance to the rescued Badjaos and were temporarily accommodated in the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa Center in Quezon City.
The Coast Guard assisted the 231 IP members boarded the passenger vessel MV St. Michael Archangel at 10 p.m. on Monday, June 7.
They are expected to arrive in Zamboanga City at around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9.
Meanwhile, the remaining 72 IP members were ferried to the residences of their close relatives in Manila.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will be conducting a probe to determine who were responsible for the mass arrival of the IP members in Manila from Zamboanga, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Monday.
The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) said that the transport of the 303 IP members to Manila violated Republic Act No. 9208, also known as the Anti-Trafficking in persons Act of 2003, as amended by RA 10364 and RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.