POLICE arrested a 40-year-old American Navy retiree after being found in the company of two female minors at a beach resort in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Wednesday evening.
A situation where minors in the company of a much older person not his or her family member or relative is considered prima facie evidence of trafficking and abuse of minors.
The American, identified as Jason Stone, from Oregon, USA, was arrested on suspicion of violation of R.A. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 in relation to R.A. 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
The Santa Fe Police received a report regarding the presence of the foreigner with the two minors.
Responding officers SPO2 Sheila Ilustrisimo, PO1 Ronnel Umaran, PO1 Ginido Gilbuena, PO1 Jodel Cento and PO1 Baldwin accompanied by Social Welfare Assistant Daisy Fariolen went to Marlin’s Beach Resort where they saw the American with the two girls, aged 14 and 16.
One of the girls is an elementary pupil while the other is a high school graduate. Both are residents of Barangay Maño, San Remigio town in mainland Cebu.
The responding officers found out that the American was not related to the minors either by consanguinity or affinity.
The minors are now in the custody of the social welfare assistant, while the American is currently detained at the Santa Fe Police Station pending the filing of charges against him.