In a ruling made public Thursday, Mandaue RTC Branch 28 Judge Raphael Yrastorza sentenced Nicole Cabillan, manager of Club Harem, of lifetime imprisonment and was ordered to pay a fine of P5 million for violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Cabillan was charged with another suspect who died while the case was on trial.
Two of the four victims were minors. One of them testified that she was sold to customers for sex at the age of 14.
Meanwhile, the US-based International Justice Mission said police rescued the victims from the bar in December 2010.
“Several police officers testified during the trial… The judge also cited statements that had been recorded in notebooks found at the bar, where girls had written out prayers to God asking to be saved from their situation,” said IJM, one of the non-government organizations representing the children’s sector in the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT)
Cabillan’s conviction was the first in Mandaue City and 108th nationwide since the establishment of IACAT in 2005.