The online news portal of TV5
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government authorities have rescued 47 victims of human trafficking and arrested two suspects - a policeman and his wife - on two separate operations in the province of Tawi-Tawi, officials disclosed Friday.
Of the rescued 47 victims, 27 are females, including two minors, and the remaining 20 are males, two of them also minors.
Tawi-Tawi police director Senior Supt. Rodelio Jocson said 25 - 20 males and five females - of the total number of victims were intercepted on Tuesday at the port of Bongao town, the capital of Tawi-Tawi province.
The victims had just disembarked from the boat that came from Zamboanga City when they were intercepted by policemen and port officials, Jocson added.
Jocson said the other 22 victims - all females - were rescued on Wednesday at a pension house and at the residence of a policeman also in the municipality of Bongao.
Jocson withheld the name of the arrested policeman and his wife, saying they are still being investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Ailyn Repadas of the Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF) disclosed that some of the rescued female victims are bound for Jordan and Syria.
The VFF is a non-government organization (NGO) established in 1991 and works for the welfare of marginalized migrants, especially those working in the invisible and informal sectors.
The VFF works in issues of domestic work, child labor and human trafficking especially of women and children.
Repadas said the victims were hired as domestic workers in Jordan and Syria with Malaysia as their jump-off point.
The rest of the victims, especially the males, were hired as plantation workers in Malaysia, she said.
The victims are from the provinces of Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, and from as far as Bulacan, Pampanga and Pangasinan, Jocson disclosed.