KTV bar owner, manager arrested for trafficking

THE NATIONAL  Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Davao Region has filed a criminal complaint before the Office of the City Prosecutor against a businessman and an establishment manager for their alleged involvement in business prostitution.

Miguel Efren Rodriguez Aquino and Alfreda Omambing Maghari were sued for violation of Republic Act 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003).

Aquino and Maghari are now temporarily held at the detention facility of the NBI XI.

Based on the records of the NBI, the respondents were arrested in an entrapment operation along Cabaguio Street on Monday.

The operation was launched after the NBI XI received an intelligence report about the prostitution business engaged by an establishment named Upside Down, Inside Out, Plaza Roman.

According to joint affidavit of arrest of the NBI XI, three of the NBI operatives acted as poseur customers and requested to be placed inside a VIP room and for a group of girls to be their partners.

The girls then offered themselves for sex services for a fee of which the operatives acceded. After negotiations, an agent then handed over the marked bills along with other bills amounting to P7,500 to the manager.

The respondents were arrested after the girls started to undress themselves.

The trafficked victims (name withheld to protect their dignity), in their affidavit, said that Maghari brought them to the VIP room and informed them that they will be doing sex services.

Based on the data of Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) in Davao Region, 95 cases were filed in court. Most of the cases filed in court are in violation of RA 10634 or the expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

Human trafficking comes in many forms such as domestic slavery, mail-order bride, sale of human parts, sex slavery and pornography, child labor, and children in armed conflict.

In those cases, there are 96 total minor victims of Trafficking in Persons, 84 of those are female and the remaining 12 are male minors.

The data also showed that majority of the accused are females, 46 who are now detained and 27 at large, while there are 40 detained males accused of the crime,18  of them at large.

On June 30, the US State Department has announced that the Philippines is now under Tier 1 of its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. While Tier 1 is the highest rank, it does not mean that a country has no human trafficking problems.

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