This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Friday, June 2, that it will file an anti-trafficking case against the individuals tagged in the alleged trafficking of over 1,000 individuals in Pampanga.
The DOJ said the Prosecution Task Force on Trafficking Cases, approved by Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, indicted eight respondents for violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9208 or the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act, as amended by RA No. 10364, and further amended by RA No. 11862.
In announcing the indictment, the justice department did not name the respondents in the case to be filed.
A rescue team from various government agencies implemented a search warrant on the premises of Clark Sun Valley Hub Corporation, Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone in Mabalacat, Pampanga on May 4. The operation led to the rescue of over 1,000 victims who are Filipinos and foreigners.
The authorities also identified around a dozen individuals as alleged traffickers. The DOJ, however, indicted only eight people.
After the operation, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) processed the verification, identification, and biometrics of the foreigners rescued, the DOJ said. A total of 936 foreigners were issued Allow Departure Orders (ADOs), including a waiver of all the penalties and fees for alleged violation of immigration laws.
The issuance of ADOs means the foreigners are allowed to leave the country. Around 291 of them have already been repatriated as of May 31, the justice department added. Meanwhile, the government said it is providing shelter, food, and other assistance to the foreigners still awaiting repatriation.
The 465 Filipino victims were also given financial assistance after they were displaced by the operation, the DOJ explained.
In a letter dated May 15, DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla ordered that all foreigners rescued in the said operation shall be placed under the BI’s legal custody. The DOJ also tasked the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group to share physical custody of the victims with the BI, and secure the compound where the foreigners are staying in for the meantime.
The battle for the foreigners’ custody also reached the court.
In a decision dated May 31, the Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) upheld the protective custody of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) over five Vietnamese victims. The court upheld the custody through a petition for habeas corpus – the legal remedy used to compel a party to produce an individual and provide valid reasons for that person’s alleged detention.
The Angeles City RTC, in a separate decision, also ruled on the legal custody of two Chinese victims through habeas corpus. The court upheld the IACAT’s custody over one of the Chinese, while it decided to release the other Chinese to his Filipina wife. – Rappler.com