THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday filed criminal charges against four persons, including an overstaying Nigerian, allegedly involved in the purchase of a toddler supposedly sold by her mother to pay off debts incurred from “e-sabong” or online cockfighting.
Facing charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) are Imelda Malibiran, Nigerian Ifeanyi Okoro aka “Maxwell Bright”, Kristine Joyce Esdrelon (at large), and Rosemarie Gutierrez (at large).
Malibiran and Okoro are now detained at the NBI Detention Center in Manila.
They were brought for the inquest at the DOJ Main Office in Manila for kidnapping, violation of Republic Act No. 7610 (Anti-Child Abuse Law), and RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003).
The 8-month-old baby was allegedly sold by her mother to pay off her e-sabong debt of P45,000. The mother denied that the debt was incurred from cockfighting and her debt was only P10,000.
On Wednesday, NBI operatives under the Human Trafficking Division rescued the baby in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
The NBI said that they are still pursuing another suspect believed to have acted as a “middleman” in the transaction.
On the other hand, the NBI said that the baby’s mother may face charges possibly under RA 9208.
The baby is currently in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).