Devanadera urges speedy resolution of human trafficking cases
Manila (19 June) -- Acting Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary and concurrent Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera urged prosecutors on Thursday to exert utmost efforts to facilitate the speedy resolution of cases involving human trafficking pending in the courts of law.
Devanadera made the move in answer to the 2009 Global Trafficking in Persons (GTIP) report of the United States State Department placing the Philippines on Tier 2 Watch List.
The US State Department report noted that "overall, the government did not show evidence of progress in convicting offenders, particularly those responsible for labor trafficking".
Devanadera also urged DOJ prosecutors to ask judges to expedite decisions on human trafficking cases pending in their salas.
She, however, noted that the DOJ does not exercise supervision and control over the courts where some of the human trafficking cases remained unresolved.
For his part, Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Severino Gana Jr., chairman of the DOJ's Task Force on Trafficking in Persons, took exception to the US State Department report.
Gana reasoned out that the US State Department failed to take note of the recent convictions by the Cebu City Regional Trial Court.
Among such convictions include that of a case of a female accused who was sentenced to suffer life imprisonment and fined P3 million.
The accused was found guilty of harboring a person for the purpose of pornography and/or sexual exploitation.
She was found to have brought five persons of minor age who were brought to her house and were asked to pose naked in front of a web camera. (PIA-MMIO) [top]