NBI arrests 2 persons 'for sex trafficking' in Tarlac

Two persons have been arrested while eight women, five of them minors, have been rescued from a bar engaged in sex trafficking in Concepcion, Tarlac. 

In a statement, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) identified those arrested as Anegelita Quilanting Mallari and Josie Hipolito Quilantang, also known as Mommy Sandra and owner of the Black Bar Grill.

They were arrested during operations conducted last Feb. 28 by agents of the NBI’s Human Trafficking Division (NBI-HTRAD), Cybercrime Division (NBI-CCD), and Violence Against Women and Children Division (NBI-VAWCD).

“The operatives were able to rescue eight (8) Trafficked Victims, five (5) of whom are minors,” the NBI said.

Those arrested were charged before the Prosecutor’s Office of Concepcion with violations of Republic Act (RA) No. 9208, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and RA 7610, the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

The NBI said the operation stemmed from the referral made by Sagip ng Muntinlupa, the Social Service Department  of the Muntinlupa City government, about the case of a mother who sought help to locate her 15-year-old daughter who was allegedly recruited by the bar as a sex worker.

“The friend of the minor victim informed the mother that she (the friend) and her daughter were co-workers and they were being offered by a certain Mommy Sandra to paying customers in exchange of sexual services,” the NBI said.

It said the 15-year-old girl went home on Feb. 27 and appeared before the NBI-HTRAD office accompanied by her mother and a social worker from Sagip Center Muntinlupa “to report the illegal activities being conducted by the operators of Black Bar Grill.”

“According to the Victim, she joined her friend to work at the subject bar and confirmed that they were being offered to customers in exchange of money,” it also said. 

“The victim also alleged that some of her co-workers are also minors,” it added.

With the information, the NBI said its operatives with the assistance of Sagip ng Muntinlupa and Exodus Road Ph hatched an entrapment and rescue operations against the owners and operators of the bar.