Palawan police, Navy rescue human trafficking victims
ISABELA CITY, Basilan, May 27 (PIA) -- The Palawan military and police personnel intercepted a motor launch carrying six women believed to be victims of human trafficking.
Naval Forces West Public Affairs Officer Lt. Karen A. Abulon of the Philippine Navy disclosed that joint elements of Naval Station Del Rosario (NSNDR) and Balabac Philippine National Police (PNP) intercepted a motor launch at Calandorang Bay, Balabac in Palawan carrying six women believed to be victims of human trafficking on May 12 around 5:30 p.m.
Abulon said the operation was a result of a tip from a concerned citizen to NSNDR. The concerned citizen said that at about 10:00 a.m. of May 12, a motor launch named KT Kudat Transport, painted with blue on its freeboard and pilothouse, will be departing Brgy Bancalaan, Balabac, Palawan to transport six women to Kudat, Malaysia.
With the information, the Commanding Officer of NSNDR immediately coordinated with the Balabac police and a joint operation with elements of NSNDR conducted a navigation patrol to preempt the illegal intention.
At around 5:00 p.m. of the same day, the joint team of NSNDR and Balabac-PNP spotted and intercepted a motor launch matching the description at the vicinity of Calandorang Bay, Balabac in Palawan.
The team found the six women on board namely: Neriza Balmeo Y Palyvos, 37, single and a resident of Guiguinto, Bulacan; Marcichelle Reyes Y Lucas, 27, and a resident Brgy San Antonio, Plaridel, Bulacan; Sadhie Lazaro Y Lucas, 27, and a resident of Plaridel, Bulacan; Alma Sevilla Y Salvacion, 27, single and a resident of Marilao, Bulacan; Christine Jaud Y Garcia, 24, single and a resident of Brgy. Matugbong, Isugod, Quezon, Palawan; and Jopelyn Calaogao Y Jaud, 31,single and a resident of Brgy Matugbong, Isugod, Quezon, Palawan.
The said motor launch was skippered by a certain Rumi Bin Mamura with six other crew members allegedly all from Brgy Bancalaan. Further inquiry revealed that the said motor launch is owned by a Chinese businessman based in Kudat, Malaysia. Authorities found out that the motor launch has no pertinent documents except for a mayorâ€™s permit with declared identification and classification as F/B Isle Fortune and is for fishing only.
On the same day, the six women were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Balabac while M/L Kudat Transport remained in custody of the Balabac-PNP for proper processing.
After some documentation procedures, the women were released by the DSWD as the six were already of legal age. Further, the agency filed a case against their alleged recruiter from Malaysia and against their recruiter from Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa City who fetched them from the airport and accommodated them before they leave for Brgy. Bancalaan. (NFW/JPA/RVC-PIA 9, ZBST)
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