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Cybersex raid no rescue, women complain

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MANILA, Philippines—Two women whom the police said it “rescued” from a Pangasinan school allegedly fronting as a cybersex den on Wednesday denied they were victims of human trafficking, saying they were instead “victims of police harassment.”

Several of the women attended the preliminary investigation held by Department of Justice (DOJ) on their case to belie the claim of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group that they were hired by the Kame Hachi Corporation, Japanese Learning School in Lingayen, Pangasinan to engage in cybersex with foreigners.

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On March 19, the DOJ Task Force on Antitrafficking in Persons had ordered the release of seven persons, including three Japanese nationals who were arrested in the raid and jailed for a week, after the police failed to provide any evidence that they were running a cybersex operation in the school. However, the DOJ scheduled a preliminary investigation to give the police another chance to show their evidence.

At Wednesday’s hearing, lawyer Nolan Evangelista, who represented the school, submitted documents and a certification from the local government as proof that the school was not doing anything illegal.

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“It was not a rescue but a raid,” Evangelista said, adding that police had harassed the all-women employees of the school and confiscated among others, computers, money, credit cards of his clients and the company safety vault.

Evangelista insisted that the school employs 120 women, their ages ranging from 18 to 28 years old, to teach conversational English to foreign clients.

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TAGS: cybersex, police harassment, raids, Women
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