All of the victims were women and five were minors, according to a member of the police Women and Children Protection Division (WCPD) of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Police arrested during the operations four persons believed to be members of a syndicate involved in human trafficking. They were identified as Ramil Suelto, 42; Nicolas Mendiola, 33; Roy Reyes, 39; and Fernando Isip, 26.
Superintendent Emma Libunao, of the WCPD based in Camp Crame, said a civilian informant led police to a private resort in Barangay Pansol, Calamba City, on Wednesday.
The informant disguised himself as a client and “ordered” 22 women for a stag party.
“In an hour, the suspects returned at the resort with the women,” Libunao said.
She said most of the women were Visayan-speaking which indicated that they were not originally from Laguna.
The women were turned over to the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), while the suspects were detained in Camp Crame.
The CIDG, in a report, said it has rescued 430 victims of trafficking and arrested 83 persons since last year.
Libunao said Calamba City, Biñan City and San Pedro town in Laguna were among the most notorious in street prostitution.
“Prostitution in these areas has become a cottage industry. You could just imagine how easy it is to find prostitutes. Women are being peddled on the streets like you are being offered to rent a resort or a boat ride,” she said.
The Philippines is on a watch list of countries where human trafficking continues to thrive and law enforcement on anti-trafficking cases is virtually non-existent.