Caparas calls on human trafficking victims to come out in the open

MANILA — Outgoing Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Emmanuel L. Caparas has called on all victims of human trafficking to come out in the open and help in the government’s fight against the said crime.

“We wish to treat them as partners in the campaign to locate perpetrators and put them behind bars and deliver justice where justice is due,” Caparas said.

Caparas issued the statement in the wake of a ruling promulgated by the Borongan City, Eastern Samar Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 21 which convicted a campaign programmer for qualified trafficking in persons.

In an 11-page ruling, the RTC said that “the prosecution succeeded in proving the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt” and sentenced Michael Gadin to life imprisonment and a fine of PHP2 million without eligibility for parole.

Gadin was also ordered to pay each of the three complainants a total of PHP600,000 in damages.

During trial, the prosecution presented the three victims, whose ages ranged from 14-17.

They all testified that “they were recruited and/or maintained by the accused for the purpose of prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation.”

Caparas also lauded the Office of the City Prosecutor of Borongan City, Eastern Samar for its successful prosecution of the case. PNA/