ZAMBOANGA CITY — The multi-agency anti-human trafficking task force here has rescued 56 female victims of trafficking of persons at the local port, an official disclosed on Tuesday.
Lt. Commander Jessie Guiniling, Zamboanga Coast Guard Station commander, said the victims were rescued around 7:10 p.m. Monday at the traveler’s hub of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
Guiniling disclosed they were about to board a passenger-cargo vessel, M/V Antonia 1, bound for Malaysia via the city of Sandakan in the state of Sabah.
Guiniling said the victims were rescued after a member of the Zamboanga Sea-Based Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (ZSBATTF) discovered they were recruited to work in Malaysia and promised with good pay.
However, he said the recruiter suddenly disappeared upon noticing that a member of the task force was having a conversation with the victims.
He said the victims of human trafficking were recruited in Luzon and Visayas areas as well as in some parts of Mindanao.
He said the victims were dismayed as they were abandoned by their recruiter since some of them have borrowed money for travel and other expenses.
They were turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). (PNA)