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22 Pinays saved from human traffickers PDF Print E-mail
Feb 29, 2012 at 08:00 AM
The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) rescued from a human trafficking ring in Parañaque City this week 22 Filipinas, including minors, who were seeking jobs in the Middle East.

According to a news release on the website of the Office of the Vice President (OVP), the rescue mission was a joint effort of the:

  •     Office of the Vice President,
  •     the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division,
  •     the Department of Social Welfare and Development,
  •     Blas F. Ople Center, and
  •     the Visayan Forum Foundation.

“Two of those whom we rescued were due to fly (Wednesday) from Manila to Cebu then onwards to Dubai where their final destination will be known. According to the caretaker of the house where the women were staying, her boss has contacts in Dubai that process women for entry to Syria,” Vice President Jejomar Binay said.

Binay is also the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns and concurrent Chairman Emeritus of the IACAT.

Binay renewed his appeal to the public to be careful of illegal recruitment and human trafficking syndicates that lure job applicants to Syria, Jordan and other parts of the Middle East.

“I ask all those who are planning to work abroad to first check with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to make sure that the jobs being offered are legitimate,” he said.

He also urged the public and local governments to work with IACAT to report suspicious activities to help ferret out the hiding places of the said syndicates.

“If you notice that some stranger is renting out an empty house in your neighborhood and filling it up with women, then please get in touch with us. We need the public’s help and cooperation to fight human trafficking,” he said.

The Vice President also warned the recruitment agencies not to take advantage of those desperate to gain employment abroad.

“We are now pushing for stiffer penalties for human trafficking violations. We will aggressively pursue these groups and bring them before the courts,” he said.

“Our operations will continue and we shall leave no stone unturned in running after these human trafficking syndicates especially in light of the ongoing armed conflict in Syria,” he added. - VVP, GMA


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