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Two minors rescued from human trafficking activity in Quezon City

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2019

The two female minors who were saved by authorities from being smuggled to Pangasinan to work in a local bar.
The two female minors who were saved by authorities from being smuggled to Pangasinan to work in a local bar.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Two minors were rescued by members of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) in a botched human trafficking activity in Barangay Batasan Hills on Thursday (January 10).

The suspect has been identified as Manuel Joshua Sanchez, 21, a native of Samar.

He is now facing violations of R.A. 0208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

According to reports, one of the minors’ mother reported to the Batasan Police Station about Sanchez’ plan to bring her daughter to Pangasinan to work in a local bar.

Kasi yung anak ko naki-open sa cellphone tapos nakalimutan niyang i-log out kaya nasundan ko yung conversation hanggang sabi noong bakla, dadalhin sila sa Nueva Vizcaya. Ngayon lang iyong sa Pangasinan kasi iyong nakaraan, hindi natuloy,” said ‘Jo’, the victim’s mother.

(TRANSLATION: My daughter borrowed my cellphone but forgot to log out her [social media account] that’s why I was able to follow their conversation up to the point where the suspect said he was bringing them to Nueva Vizcaya. He recently changed it to Pangasinan as the first plan did not push through.)

According to QCPD Station 6 Deputy Commander Sandie Caparroso, the suspect has an outstanding record when the same complainant reported him in November for pimping her daughter to the suspect’s own father.

Sinabihan natin sila na maaktuhan natin ang ginagawa nilang pangbubugaw nung suspect. Kanina nga ay lumapit ulit sa atin. Ang information sa atin ay nakipag-communicate itong suspect sa biktima through FB messenger at inaalok sila ulit ng trabaho somewhere in Pangasinan,” Caparraso said.

(TRANSLATION: The plan is to catch the suspect in the act of pimping the victims. We received information earlier that suspect reached out to the suspects through FB messenger offering employmeny somewhere in Pangasinan.)

Sanchez was arrested while about to board a taxi together with the two minors allegedly on their way to Pangasinan.

The suspect denied the allegations saying he was just ordered by a certain ‘Liezl’ to fetch the minors and bring them to Pangasinan for potential employment.

Nagulat na lang po noong susunduin po namin sila may bigla na lang po mga pulis. Hindi po ako ang nagrecruit nun. Si Liezel kaibigan po nila pinasundo lang po sa akin,” Sanchez argued.

(TRANSLATION: When we came to pick up the girls, I was surprised to see the police. I was not the one who recruited them. I was asked by Liezel, a friend of the girls, to fetch them.)

Auhtorities added that the suspect was using illegal drugs based on the recent drug test conducted.

The two minors were sent to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for counselling. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Gerry Galicia)

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NMIS: PH remains free of African Swine Fever

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Pork meat for sale on a market (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) made the rounds of public markets in Metro Manila on Wednesday (January 9).

Specifically, the team visited Pasig City Mega Market to allay fears over the possible entry of the highly contagious hog disease that is infesting major pig farms in China and other countries in Europe — the African Swine Fever (ASF).

“Sa ating mga consuming public, wala po tayong dapat na ikabahala doon sa kumakalat na balita tungkol doon sa sinasabing African Swine Fever,” assured Dr. Rolando Marquez, the head of the NMIS Central Office Enforcement Team.

“Ang ginagawa po ng National Meat Inspection Service katuwang po ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan ay patuloy pong nagmamanman dito sa mga palengke para masiguro natin na ‘yung binebentang karne ay safe,” he added.

The NMIS made certain that pork products available in all markets across the country are safe and free of ASF because 95% of these pork products come from local hog raisers and only 5% are imported.

So far, the government has temporarily suspended that importation of pork especially from countries affected by the ASF outbreak.

Stricter measures in meat inspection have also been imposed in several markets such as in Pasig City.

“Talagang ang mga meat inspections sa amin, araw-araw nag-i-inspect; kada madaling-araw. Bumababa pa lang ang baboy dito, ang mga meat inspector, andiyan na, nakabantay na. Walang nakakalusot sa amin,” explained Kiko Reynoso, president of the Pasig City Mega Market Meat Section

Nevertheless, the agency still advises the public to be cautious in purchasing pork and pork-based products.

“Syempre malay mo, mamaya may dalang mga sakit ‘yon. Tinitingnan ko ‘yung binibili ko kung talagang sariwa ‘yon at saka hindi frozen,” said consumer Estrella Tanchingco.

“Bumibili pa rin pero tinitingnan ko ‘yung ano ng baboy. Nagtatanong dito sa nagtitinda na kung ano ba ‘yung baboy nila? Safe ba? Syempre nakakatakot ‘yun sa mga mamimili,” added another shopper,Tessy Precioso.

The NMIS as always encourages the public to immediately report to the authorities any irregularities in meat supply or delivery in their area through National Meat Inspection Service Contact Numbers (02) 9247980 and 09178367009.

There is no reported human transmission of ASF as of today but it can speedily spread and cause mass slaughter of hogs and consequently incur huge amount of economic losses, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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BI’s drive vs. trafficking bars more than 28,000 travelers in 2018

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, December 20th, 2018

FILE PHOTO | PVI/Marlon Briola

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has barred more than 28,000 travelers from leaving the country in the last 10 months in line with its crackdown against human trafficking.

On its website, the BI through Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the agency has prevented a total of 28, 467 passengers to board their flights from January to October this year because of their failure to secure the necessary documents required for overseas-bound passengers.

Of the said number, the Bi said, a total of 23,239 were stopped at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The rest were stopped in other international airports in Mactan, Clark, Iloilo, Kalibo, and Davao.

Among the cases the BI encountered were age misrepresentation, fraudulent documents, and illegal job recruitment.

BI Commissioners Jaime Morente, meanwhile, lauded the efforts of port personnel in support of the agency’s campaign against human trafficking.

Morente noted that with the vigilance of their personnel and partners, the country remains at Tier 1 in ratings of the US State Department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report which means that the Philippine government has shown ‘appreciable progress’ against human trafficking. – Marje Pelayo

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Victims of human trafficking in PH spike to over 700,000 – Global Slavery Index

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

(file photo)

MANILA, Philippines – The 2018 Global Slavery Index report shows a significant rise in the number of victims of human trafficking in the Philippines.

Most notable was the incident of 13 minors, including a two-month-old baby, who were trafficked by their own relatives and were rescued in March last year by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with the help of personnel from the U.S. Homeland Security Investigators and Immigration and the Customs Enforcement team.

Specifically, the minors were used to promote child pornography.

“Masakit, kasi ang mga perpetrators ay mga magulang at mga relatives. So, sino pa ang pagkakatiwalaan ng mga kabataan natin ngayon kung even ang magulang nila ay kinakalakal sila?” said Atty Janet Francisco, chief of the NBI Anti-Human Trafficking Division.

Their case is just one of the more than 700,000 victims of human trafficking based on the report.

This puts the Philippines in the 12th rank among countries with the highest incidence of modern-day slavery in the entire Asia Pacific.

The report notes that among the 44 million people trafficked across the globe, 73% were victims of forced sexual exploitation; 68% were victims of forced labor; 64% were victims of labor exploitation; while 42% were led to forced marriages.

“It is no wonder that slavery has broken the very fabric of nations…It has destroyed families and communities and brought war to the mightiest of economies. The inherent injustice in building fortunes from the misfortune of some, presents one of the strongest compulsions for the abolition of slavery,” explained Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) takes pride in the rescue of a 9-year-old girl and the arrest of her French pedophile perpetrator who spread lewd photographs online.

“This information was transmitted to the Philippines and Australia and was subsequently corroborated with the Philippine women and children protection center,” narrated Secretary Guevarra.

Four months after the trial and 9 months after rescue of the child, a conviction for qualified trafficking was handed down by our courts” he added referring to the success of the case.

Guevarra, meanwhile, calls on the international community to unite to protect the poor who are the most susceptible to human trafficking. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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