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PIA Press Release

RP identified as hub for human trafficking

by Robert E. Roperos

Butuan City (April 2) -- The Philippines is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking.

This is the alarming statement of Dr. Marcy Carpizo, President of the Philippines Against Child Trafficking (PACT), during the orientation on anti-trafficking in persons for the local tri-media, held Monday, March 31 at Almont Inland Resort, this city

In her report before the participants, Dr. Carpizo noted that the Philippine and foreign child victims in the country ranges from 20,000 to 100,000.

"We are the source of trafficked men, women and girls for labor and sexual exploitation to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Malaysia, Hongkong, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, North America and Europe", Carpizo said.

Carpizo also said, the Philippines is a destination country for a small number of women who are trafficked from the People's Republic of China, South Korea, Japan and Russia for sexual exploitation.

As to the trafficking routes, Carpizo reported some domestic destination areas that include Manila, Cebu, Bataan, Subic, Bulacan, Batangas, Laguna, National Capital Region, General Santos, Davao and Dumaguete, while exit points for international trafficking are identified in Manila, Angeles, Cebu and Davao.

Carpizo also said, the trafficked persons can also go backdoor exits from Manila to Palawan, downto Kudat, Malaysia to Brunei or Indonesia. They can also exit from Manila going to Palawan, then to Cagayan de Oro City, to Tawi-tawi, to Sandakan and to Kotakinabalu. Another identified backdoor exit is the route from Zamboanga to Bongao and in Sandakan.

When asked what are the modus operandi of these syndicates, Carpizo said the trafficked persons are recruited as domestic helpers, caregivers, overseas performing artists, live-in trainees, movie actors, apprentice of HRM and others, but eventually it will end to prostitution, forced labor, and the like.

Carpizo added that the victims will travel as tourists, artists, actors, exchange students or professionals, participants to international conferences, sports competitions and other special events.

With the irregularities mentioned, Carpizo, however said, in 2005, three persons in Zamboanga City were sentenced to life imprisonment and were obliged to pay 2 million pesos in fines for violation of Section 4 in related to Section 6 (c) and 10 (c) for qualified trafficking.

Also in December 8 of the same year, four spouses in Quezon City were sentenced to four life imprisonment and were charged to pay 8 million pesos in fines for violation of Section 4 in related to Section 6 (a) and (c), also for qualified trafficking.

Another conviction was made in November 15 and 28, also of the same year where two persons in Batangas City were sentenced to render six months of community service for pleading guilty to Section 11, particularly in the use of trafficked persons.

Last year, Carpizo said, three cases were given conviction by the courts in Zamboanga City, Cebu City and Davao City, all were sentenced to life imprisonment.

With the conviction of the suspects, Dr. Carpizo said that this really shows that the government is strengthening its campaign for anti-human trafficking. (PIA-13) [top]

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