CORDILLERA Police Regional Office Director Brigadier General Mafelino A. Bazar, on Tuesday announced the arrest of two persons accused of “forcing” two minors to use illegal drugs and engage in prostitution after recruiting them for work in Tabuk City in Kalinga province.
In a report to the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr., the Cordillera police director, said the suspects were both residents of Kalinga and are now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9208 as amended by RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
The official said that the two were arrested in Barangay Appas in Tabuk City last Saturday by the local police following a complaint from the mother of a 15-year-old girl.
Bazar said that the woman went to the Tabuk City Police Station to complain that her daughter had been missing since last June 31. However, she said that she received a call from her daughter last Saturday (Aug. 27) informing her of her condition and location.
The minor said they were recruited by one of the suspects to work in “catering services”. However, when they arrived in Tabuk City, she said she and her 17-year-old fellows were surprised to know they would work as “bar attendants”.
The minor also claimed that the suspects forced them to have commercial sex with their bar customers while luring them into using shabu before going to work.
The sad ordeal prompted the minor to call her mother. Bazar said that the local police responded immediately to the mother’s request for assistance, arrested the two suspects, and rescued their victims.
Both suspects are now being held at the Tabuk City police lock-up facility, while the rescued victims were brought to the Kalinga Provincial Hospital for medical and physical examination.
Bazar also reported the arrest of a 25-year-old man accused of groping a minor inside a passenger jeepney in La Trinidad, Benguet, last Sunday.
He said that the suspect, a native of Baguilin, La Union, presently residing in La Trinidad town, was arrested by patrolling policemen following a complaint from the victim.
An investigation showed that the minor was followed by the suspect when she rode the jeepney. While inside, the suspect started to touch the victim’s waist and breast before alighting in Bgy. Lubas.
The minor also got out of the vehicle and informed a group of passing policemen about the incident. The officers immediately placed the suspect under arrest.
He is now facing charges for acts of lasciviousness in relation to RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.
Bazar commended the two policemen, Executive Master Sergeant Silvestre Lumyeb and Corporal Denio Sabas, for immediately responding to the minor’s complaint.