Quantcast
Latest Stories

Expanded antihuman trafficking law pushed

By

Sen. Loren Legarda has called on President Benigno Aquino III to sign immediately the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act amid reports of human traffickers preying on women and children in the typhoon-stricken areas of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

Legarda, chair of the Senate subcommittee looking into human trafficking, expressed “extreme alarm” over reports of human traffickers in Mindanao’s devastated communities in the aftermath of Typhoon “Pablo.”

“We have seen the need to strengthen the existing law, and we have acted swiftly on it. But human trafficking, and the related problems of the illegal sex trade, forced labor and other forms of slavery, is a complex web. Battling it requires concerted effort from all sectors of society,” she said in a statement issued on Friday.

“Remember that traffickers target the most vulnerable sectors of society and this is the injustice that we must act against. Those responsible must be caught and subjected to our criminal laws. Furthermore, we also look forward to the immediate enactment of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.”

The bill passed by Congress is a strengthened version of the Anti-Trafficking Law. It covers attempted trafficking and has accessory or accomplice liability, thereby covering more related acts and individuals. It is awaiting signature by the President.

Republic Act No. 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act of 2003, penalizes human trafficking crimes with prison terms ranging from six years to 20 years and fines from P500,000 to P2 million.

Trafficking in persons include recruitment in the guise of domestic or overseas employment for sexual exploitation, forced labor or involuntary debt bondage, recruiting any Filipino woman to marry a foreigner, sex tourism, recruitment for organ removal and recruitment of a child to engage in armed activities abroad.

The law also provides a list of acts that promote trafficking such as assisting in the exit of trafficked persons.

Both houses of Congress in December ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act.

Amendments

The amendments increased the list of punishable acts that promote trafficking, “to include an act to destroy or tamper with evidence, to influence witnesses in an investigation, or to utilize one’s public office to impede an investigation or to obstruct the execution of lawful orders.”

“Enactment into law of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act will fill the voids in the existing law,” Legarda said following the Senate’s ratification of a bicameral report early this month.

She said the enactment of the measure would ensure added protection not just for trafficked victims, but also, to a reasonable extent, law enforcement officers and social workers “from harassment suits for lawful acts done in good faith during authorized rescue operations, investigation or prosecution of a case.”

Legarda also said “disasters are linked inextricably to poverty and socioeconomic inequality.”

“It is important to realize that the changing climate will have its worst effects on the poorest of the poor, and nowhere is this clearer than in these reports of human traffickers prowling Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental,” said Legarda, who also is chair of the Senate committee on climate change.

High-risk victims


“Men, women and children from marginalized and devastated communities are at high risk, and we must do everything in our power to stop these illegal operations once and for all,” she added.

Legarda said the problem of human trafficking would only become more pronounced as Filipinos are left vulnerable as a result of disasters.

“We are now seeing the intersecting forces of natural hazards and human greed, and how they threaten those who are already marginalized. This is an issue of utmost importance,” she said.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman earlier sought the help of relief workers in spreading information on human trafficking. She said the situation in areas devastated by Typhoon “Pablo” on Dec. 4 made women and children easy prey.

“More than the horizontal values, we need to inform them that there is going to be a better way of surviving,” Soliman said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Compostela Valley , disaster , Human trafficking , law , News , Pablo , Typhoon




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  • Palace prepared to charge its allies
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • PH, HK end bitter row; sanctions lifted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement