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PIA Press Release
2008/11/28

IACAT and IJM elated over latest conviction of human trafficker

Manila (28 November) -- The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the International Justice Mission (IJM) are glad to announce the latest conviction of a human trafficking case promulgated this morning (Thursday, November 27) in Paranaque City.

According to the decision penned by Judge Jaime M. Guray of the Regional Trial Court of Paranaque City Branch 260, Charmela Barrameda, Roberto Acuin aka "Wowie", Salvacion Alamares, and Gina Ajero were convicted for the crime of Qualified Trafficking in Person.

The four (4) accused were convicted for victimizing minor girls, with ages ranging from 14-16 years old. The victims had been sexually exploited and were made to work as prostitutes by the accused. One of the four complainants was promised the job of a cashier, while the other three were told they will work as group dancers. Instead, they all ended up as GROs in a videoke club and were forced to engage in acts of prostitution. They also were not brought to Laguna as agreed, but instead to Daraga, Albay. The victims were never allowed to leave the videoke club, until they were rescued by the NBI Anti-Human Trafficking Division.

The court found the accused, Salvacion Alamares and Gina Ajero guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of RA 9208 and were sentenced to each suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twenty (20) years and to each pay a fine of One Million (Php 1,000,000.00) pesos.

An alias warrant of arrest was issued for Roberto Acuin aka Wowie, and Charmela Barrameda.

This is the 12th conviction recorded by IACAT. Being the body created by law to coordinate and monitor the implementation of Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise known as the "Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003", the IACAT is monitoring about 600 other cases of human trafficking.

The International Justice Mission (IJM) was steadfast in its support for the Philippine government in terms of fighting human trafficking. Since 2001, the IJM has been engaged in aggressive campaign against sex trafficking in the Philippines.

IACAT Acting Chairman Ricardo R. Blancaflor is thanking DOJ prosecutors and the NBI for their diligent work, and he expressed hopes that the same amount of preparations and efforts will be made in future human trafficking cases.

"Let this be a warning also against human traffickers that their glory days are over, and they must immediately stop. Whether here or abroad, the IACAT will not leave any stone unturned in its efforts to fight the crime of human trafficking", Blancaflor said. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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