MANILA, Philippines—Seven victims of human trafficking, six of whom were minors, have been rescued by authorities in remote towns in Quirino and Isabela provinces, police said Tuesday.
Police Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr., Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief, said they were able to arrest the owners of two brothels known as Rose-Janet Videoke Bar in Ramon, Isabela and Gina’s Green Bar, in Saguday, Quirino.
The victims were rescued after raids were conducted by CIDG operatives in the said bars around 11:30 p.m. Monday, Pagdilao said in a statement.
Police Superintendent Emma Libunao, Women and Children Protection Division (WCPD) chief, said that “four minors aged 15, 17, and 16 were rescued in Rose-Janette Videoke Bar while three victims, two are minors aged 14 and 15, were rescued in Gina’s Green Bar.”
She added that they received information from three minors from Caloocan City that have been recruited and then managed to escape from the bars. They told police that they were recruited by the owners of the bar in October initially “to work as waitresses but they ended up as sex workers.”
CIDG investigators found that the owner of Gina Videoke Club told those they have already recruited to get more minors from Manila. The owners paid for their fare, which were later deducted from what they earn as prostitutes.
The victims are set to be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development while appropriate charges are being prepared against the owners of the bars, Pagdilao said.
“Recent raids show that human trafficking remains a serious problem in the country that even in remote areas such as Quirino and Isabela provinces, minors are rampantly being trafficked for sex trade,” Libunao said.