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13 human trafficking victims rescued in Basilan

THIRTEEN suspected female victims of a human trafficking ring in Maluso, Basilan were rescued by the local police the other day, a Philippine National Police report said.

One suspect identified as Mahmud Wahi, a 26-year old resident of Upper Porth Holland in Maluso municipality was arrested by local policemen led by Major Tadzhabel Managola, said the police report.

The rescued women were identified as Anna Marie Abapo,30; Guidoline Loro,26, of Bicutan, Taguig City; Grecel Manongnong,32, of Zamboanga del Norte; Glory Estano,39, of Novaliches, Quezon City; Christina Patricio, 21, of Capiz province; Maritess Palamo, 29, of Nueva Ecija; Brelin Bucao,41; Shiela Paclibar,34, both of Taguig City; Arlyn Arbiz,24, of Manila; Hairiya Gambal,29, of Shariff Aguak, Magindanao; and Marivic Pacardo,40.

During questioning, Wahi claimed that he was merely instructed by his aunt residing in Zamboanga City to fetch the 13 and bring them to a beach resort in Sitio Gaunan Asibih in Barangay South Gaunan in Maluso. The man claimed that the 13 were merely on a beach trip in their area.

However, the women told local police investigators that their passports are currently in the possession of Wahi’s aunt who had promised to bring them from Zamboanga City to Malaysia where they will be having high-paying jobs.

Wahi has been placed under the custody of the Maluso police while charges are being readied against him. The rescued women will be turned over to social welfare authorities.