13 victims of human trafficking rescued in Zamboanga

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    THIRTEEN women believed to be victims of human trafficking were rescued by personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard and other agencies at the Zamboanga City port on Monday, the PCG reported yesterday.

    PCG spokesman Capt. Armand Balilo said the women were rescued while about to depart for Malaysia where they were promised a “well-compensated” job by their recruiter, whose name was withheld pending follow-up operations.

    Balilo said the 13 were rescued aboard the MV Antonia-1 owned and operated by Aleson Shipping Line Inc. “It was scheduled to depart Zamboanga City bound for Sandakan, Sabah,” said Balilo, adding the victims are Luzon.

    The victims were later turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development “for further investigation and case build-up operation.”

    A report from PCG Zamboanga City station chief Lt. Cmdr. Eddyson Abanilla said the recruiter “promised the victims well-compensated job opportunities in Malaysia.”

    However, Balilo said no specific work was mentioned to the victims.

    Balilo said an initial assessment indicated the recruiter “is known in bringing Filipinas to work in Malaysia as prostitutes.” – victor reyes

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