5 Filipinas escape alleged human trafficking operation in Sabah
TURTLE ISLANDS, Philippines – Policemen from the Turtle Islands Municipal Police Station in Tawi-Tawi rescued 5 victims of alleged human trafficking who escaped their captors last August 11, 2018.
The women – in their 20s and 30s and from Manila and Bulacan – illegally entered Sandakan, Sabah through exits from Southern Palawan and Zamboanga City months earlier.
The women, who were promised better-paying jobs by recruiters, were forced to work as waitresses, domestic workers or as bar girls. They were also matched with Chinese or Malaysian nationals who would become their benefactors.
The 5 women fled on a speedboat and were rescued by the police and Philippine Coast Guard near the border of Sandakan and Taganak.
Sandakan, former capital of British North Borneo, is a 30-minute speedboat transit away from the Turtle Islands.
Director Ivy Miravalles and Mr. Frencel Tingga of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) debriefed the 5 women, who had been on the island for nearly a week. The CFO, alongside the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), holds community education programs for people to explain anti-trafficking laws and illegal recruitment procedures, as well as services provided by the CFO and the benefits and downsides to international migration.
The women are currently under police care, and will be turned over to the Mindanao Field Unit of the Women and Children Protection Center in Zamboanga for further investigation.
Those who trafficked the women may face potential charges for violating the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012, and the Anti-Mail Order Spouse Law of 2016.– Rappler.com