ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/5 April) – Two suspected illegal recruiters were arrested by police operatives here Monday evening, resulting in the rescue of seven victims, police said.
Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said the suspects were arrested in separate operations, both of them caught red-handed with their victims.
De Ocampo said the arrest was made after the Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF) tipped the ZCPO’s Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) about the cases.
The VFF, established in 1991, is group working for the welfare of marginalized migrants, especially domestic workers and victims of human trafficking.
VFF volunteers intercepted Sayma Acdalin, 17, and Baihani Amilon, 16, both of Pikit, North Cotabato; and Janet Prayco, 20, of Roxas City, around 7 p.m. Monday at the Zamboanga port. With them was Narsheline Omar, who allegedly assisted the victims to purchase tickets for their trip to Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.
De Ocampo said VFF and WCPD personnel rushed to the Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) upon getting information that another four recruited women were about to arrive by commercial plane.
Rescued at the airport were Lianda Zacaria, 31, of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao; Norma Aliman, 30, of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao; Liza Martizano, 26, of Bislig, Surigao del Sur; and Amera Salipada, 28, of Kabuntalan, Maguindanao.
Arrested was Racma Said, of barangay Canelar, this city, who fetched the victims at the airport. Said was supposed to assist the recruits in going to Malaysia, police said.
De Ocampo said the victims were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) while the two suspected illegal recruiters have been detained as appropriate charges are being prepared against them.
Almost two weeks ago, an inter-agency task force rescued 82 women also at the Zamboanga airport. They were supposed to board a chartered plane bound for Malaysia. (MindaNews)