Joy Belmonte shuts down illegal massage parlor disguised as spa

MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered the closure of an illegal massage parlor disguised as a spa, the first in her crackdown on such establishments in the city.

Belmonte joined the team that raided Dragon Spa along E. Rodriguez Avenue on Friday, October 18, and rescued 4 women aged 27 to 36 years old.

“This is the first of our operations. We saw their menu where it is very clear that there are things going on that should not be going on and that there are clear violations,” Belmonte said in a statement.

The mayor referred to the "menu"of services offered by the spa online.

Prior to the raid, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) conducted intelligence operations by booking the spa's services online. The raid was conducted upon confirmation that the spa was offering illegal services.

Belmonte said the spa operated without a business permit since 2018, and violated Republic Act  No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012, specifically the provision against hiring a person to engage in prostitution and pornography. 

The Social Services Development Department of the city government will extend assistance to the rescued women, said Belmonte.

The mayor said police are still tracking down the massage parlor's owner for the filing of appropriate charges.

She also said that the QC government and the police will work on ridding the city of similar  illegal establishments.

“We will continue to work with General Ronnie Montejo of the QCPD to continue to stake out the 99 other spa establishments to make sure that there are no more establishments such as this operating in Quezon City,” said Belmonte. – with reports from Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com