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BI barred from exit in Davao Airport woman trafficking victim, male escort

Bienvenido Castillo III
I-PROBES chief Bienvenido Castillo III reports the interception of a woman trafficking victim and her escort at the Davao International Airport. (JERRY S. TAN)

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers assigned at the Davao International Airport stopped a female victim from leaving the country, along with her male escort who is suspected to be her trafficer, as they attempted to leave the country over the weekend.

The BI’s immigration protection and border enforcement section (I-PROBES) headed by Bienvenido Castillo III reported that the victim was rescued at the Davao International Airport after attempting to board a Scoot Airlines flight to Singapore Saturday afternoon.

The woman claimed to be traveling to Singapore as a tourist with her employer, but later admitted that she was recruited to work as a household service worker in the United Arab Emirates for an undisclosed amount.

She also stated that her male companion instructed her to state that she is traveling abroad as his personal house helper for a short vacation.

Upon verification of the man’s records, it was found that he has previously sponsored the trip with another woman, who failed to return on her declared return date. He admitted that he also previously escorted another female victim, who left for Singapore but transferred to Thailand.

The BI said it suspects that the man was recruiting Filipinos to work in the Middle East but leave his victims stranded.

In view of this, BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco warned the public against the said scheme, saying that rescue or repatriation becomes a challenge when the Philippine government has no record of a worker’s whereabouts.

“These traffickers dupe victims into agreeing to such schemes, only to leave them penniless in the middle of an unfamiliar foreign country. Aspiring workers should never ever agree to such arrangements,” he added.

Both the victim and the escort were turned over to the interagency council against trafficking. The male escort faces charges of human trafficking for the incident.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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