9 trafficking victims rescued


ZAMBOANGA CITY — Nine victims of human trafficking, including four minors, were rescued in a remote island town of Sulu, local police said Wednesday.

Supt. Christine Tan, chief of the PNP’s Women and Children Protection Center-Mindanao Field Unit, made the announcement upon the arrival of the victims in this city from the province of Sulu.

Tan said the victims were rescued on Monday in Barangay Gapas Tubig Tuwak, Lugus, Sulu.

Tan said the victims were rescued while the policemen of Lugus led by Senior Insp. Felix Dennis Alicando, were conducting house visitation in Barangay Gapas Rugasan in that town.

She said two minors approached and told the policemen that they were recruited four months ago in Barangay Sangali, this city, as crew of a fishing boat along with eight other crewmen.

She said they informed the police that they “were promised a good compensation but did not receive any.”

She said it was further learned that they were not allowed to return home since the time they were recruited four months ago.

The victims tried to escape but were caught at Jolo port and “were threatened to suffer consequences if they do it again.”

Alicando along with other policemen from Lugus escorted and turned over the victims on Wednesday to the office of Tan in this city.

Tan said they will filed charges for violation of Republic Act 10364 otherwise known as the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012” against the owner of the fishing boat, whose name was withheld.

Tan expressed her gratitude to Mayor Hadar Hajiri of Lugus, Sulu for providing assistance to the police to be able to transport the victims to this city.

Lugus, which comprises of 17 barangays, is a fifth class municipality in the province of Sulu. The town has a population of 21,897 as of the 2015 census. Ely Dumaboc/PNA-northboundasia.com