Woman sex trafficker nabbed in Aklan; cops eye involvement of ‘mayor’
MANILA, Philippines — A woman allegedly involved in trafficking women from Metro Manila to become sex slaves in Aklan and other provinces finally fell into the police dragnet in Navotas City on Wednesday morning.
In a report, Philippine National Police – Anti-Kidnapping Group spokesman (PNP-AKG) Major Ronnie Lumactod identified the suspect as Catherine Tandas, who was subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Aklan Regional Trial Court Branch 7 on January 16, 2018, for a complaint of Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Lumactod said members of PNP-AKG Iloilo Bacolod Satellite Office and Navotas police served the warrant against Tandas in Navotas at 8:30 a.m.
Prior to the arrest, Lumactod said Tandas enticed victims by offering them a job as househelp. The women, however, would be made to work in beer joints as sex workers once they got to their destination.
“Mga biktima yung nirerecruit nila ginagawa nilang sex slaves. ‘Di ba gagawing beerhouse girl pero ang usapan, kwan sila, kasambahay. Pagdating doon, beerhouse ang bagsak,” Lumactod told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
(The victims are being recruited as sex slaves. Initially they were told that they would work as househelp, but ended up working in beerhouses.)
Lumactod said Tandas’ sphere of human trafficking operations revolve in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Aside from Aklan, her recruits were also being brought to Iloilo and other provinces.
Tandas is also the No. 9 most wanted person in Aklan province, the PNP-AKG official also noted.
Mayor involved in human trafficking?
Lumactod also disclosed that police is investigating the possible involvement of a provincial mayor in Tandas’ human trafficking operations, and was in fact the “boss” in the nefarious activities.
“Mayroong isang boss na mayor pero hindi lang ididivulge ang pangalan kasi nag-co-conduct ng simultaneous operation sa Visayas para ma-rescue yung mga babae, at the same time mahuli ang mayor,” he said.
(There is a boss mayor but we can’t divulge his name as simultaneous operations are being conducted in Visayas to rescue the victims and at the same time arrest the mayor.)
Lumactod said he does not have the exact number of the victims turned into sex workers.
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