Spa operators likely to face raps

By Michaela Jaycel L. Dolores |October 12,2016 - 09:46 PM

The National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) will likely file charges today for violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act against the operators of Beah’s Spa and Massage on F. Ramos Street, Barangay Cogon-Ramos, Cebu City.

The case will be filed against sisters Emelia Cañada and Ana Tacio who were caught during NBI’s operation wherein 11 massage therapists were rescued from the establishment.

Both Cañada and Tacio were identified as operators of the massage parlor and are currently under the custody of NBI.

The bureau is also looking into the possibility of filing a case against Irene Gargar, the daughter of Cañada, whose name appears in the establishment’s business permit as the registered owner.

“We are still on the process of evaluating if she (Gargar) really knows what is going on inside the establishment,” said supervising agent Atty. Wenceslao Galendez Jr.
The raid was conducted last Tuesday evening after three therapists came to NBI a few weeks back to ask for help.

“The three alleged that they won’t earn anything unless they perform extra service,” said Galendez in Cebuano.

Yesterday, Galendez said, they were documenting the sworn statements of the victims, which they will use in filing the case.

“As soon as ma-prepare namo ang tanang documentations, we will file the appropriate charges at the City Prosecutor’s Office,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Meanwhile, both operators of the massage parlor currently under the custody of NBI declined to give their side.

Kate, not her real name, one of the rescued women, was recommended by a relative to work in the spa eight months ago.

“If the customers ask us to provide extra service, we just agree because we don’t have any salary and we have a family who depends on us,” said Kate in Cebuano.

She is currently staying with her live-in partner but is also supporting her sister in college.

Kate said all massage therapists working in the spa were not paid for their massage service.

The P500 that their customers pay for their one hour and 15 minute massage is directly given to the management. “Kung wala mi extra service, wala pud mi kwarta (If we don’t offer extra service, we don’t have money),” she said. Kate said they would charge customers up to P500 for extra service. However, P100 of the P500 they earn for doing lewd acts is remitted back to the establishment as tax.

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