Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

AUTHORITIES on Monday, October 8, pressed charges against three men for alleged child trafficking after they were caught occupying two rooms with nine minors at an inn along Osmeña-Luna streets, Cagayan de Oro City.

Charged before the City Prosecutors Office were J.R. Serina and Alexander Clamares, both 19 years old and residents of Calaanan, Canitoan, and 18 years old Mario Entolon of Macanhan, Carmen.

Senior Inspector Dennis Quindara, Police Station 2 chief, said the three were charged for violation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 10364) in relation to Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act (RA 7610).

"Case under investigation pending the resolution from the City Prosecutor’s Office. Cases transmitted to CPO yesterday," Quindara said.

Members of the Regulatory Complaint Board (RCB), City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) and the police rescued on October 5 the six female and three male minors with age ranging from 15 to 17 years old.

"Nag-operate mi tungod kay dunay ginikanan nga nangita sa iyang anak kay wala nay uli-uli sa ilang balay unya ang report kay naka-check in sa motel (we acted based on the complaint of a parent whose child failed to return home for months)," RCB team leader Antonio Resma Jr., said.

Resma said they were looking into the possible participation of the three men who were seen occupying the two rooms inside an inn.

He said one room was booked for two days while the other one was reserved for three days.

Resma said they were alarmed upon seeing the rooms with boys and girls staying together. Bottles of intoxicating liquor and condoms were also seen inside the rooms.

The RCB will also likely recommend the closure of the said inn that allowed minors to check in. A notice of violation was already issued to the establishment.

“Pero as to penalties hisgutan pa sa board (The board will meet and decide on the penalties to be imposed on the inn)," Resma said.

The operation was also in line with City Ordinance 13394-2018 or the Cagayan de Oro Comprehensive Children Welfare Code, which prohibits inns, and similar establishments from accommodating minors all by themselves.

The RCB was tasked to monitor compliance and inspect establishments.

Resma said the nine minor children have been turned over to the social welfare department for intervention.

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