TINGOG party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez commended Immigration personnel who foiled an attempt by an American woman to smuggle out of the country a six-day-old boy hidden in her slingbag at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last Wednesday.
Romualdez, chair of the House Committee on the Welfare of Children, also called on her fellow legislators to support initiatives that will impose stiffer penalties for human trafficking, particularly child smuggling.
“Let me commend our airport authorities, especially the alert Immigration officers, for a job well-done. Their dedication to duty paid off and led to the arrest of a foreigner engaged in child smuggling,” Romualdez said.
“I cannot understand how a woman, a mother of five, could stuff a week-old child in a hand-carried luggage. Such cruelty is beyond comprehension,” the lady solon added.
Romualdez said she would discuss with her committee members the possibility of amending existing laws on human trafficking with the end in view of increasing the penalty further for child smuggling.
“I am in favor of imposing stiffer penalties against child smuggling. I am optimistic that my colleagues in Congress will extend their full support to such initiative,” she added.
Romualdez said she would also support moves to impose stiffer penalties against accomplices and other individuals who participate in the commission of the crime of child smuggling.
“A child is a blessing that needs to be protected and nurtured. Anyone who endangers the safety of the child deserves to be locked up behind bars,” Romualdez stressed.