2 spa operators indicted

By: Izobelle T. Pulgo October 17,2016 - 11:19 PM

THE two spa operators who were arrested during a raid last week for operating a massage parlor that offers “extra services” were indicted with human trafficking charges before the court.
The Office of Cebu City Prosecutor has elevated to the Regional Trial Court the complaint filed against sisters Emelia Tacio Cañada and Ana Tacio Cabiles, operators of Beah’s Massage and Spa on F. Ramos Street, Cebu City, for violation of Republic Act 9208, also known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003,” a non-bailable offense.

Cañada and Cabiles were charged for sexually exploiting 10 women workers in their establishment, while Cañada’s daughter Irene Gargar, whose name appears in the business permit as the owner of the establishment, is still at large and will be prosecuted separately as soon as the procedural requirements are complied with.

Last September, three employees of Beah’s Massage filed a complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on allegations that they were hired by the spa operators to do sexual acts for their customers, otherwise, they won’t earn anything.

After surveillance and verification, NBI operatives conducted an entrapment and rescue operation where two of their members went undercover and posed as customers.

In one of the agent’s affidavit, he recounted how upon arrival at the massage parlor, they were asked to pay P500 each and asked if they wanted a “show-up” of their therapists so they could choose who they prefer to “handle” them.

During the show-up, a Korean national also appeared and likewise selected a therapist of his choice. They later discovered that he brought her to an unknown hotel in the city after paying P700.

The NBI undercover agents were later brought to separate rooms where they were presented with the different “extra services,” among them a hand job (P500), blow job (P1,000), body to body massage (P1,500), and an “all-out” service or sex (P4,000).

The rest of the NBI team then conducted the raid, seized three boxes of condoms and rescued 10 massage therapists, who all confirmed that they performed “extra services” in exchange for cash.

In the affidavit of the massage therapist who handled one of the NBI undercover agents, whose name is withheld as mandated under the Anti-Human Trafficking Law, she explained that the P500 paid upon the customer’s arrival goes directly to the owners of the massage parlor.

Meanwhile, of the P1,500 paid for the body to body massage, P200 will go back to the establishment for “tax,” while another P100 for their food.

Another therapist likewise stated in her affidavit that they were encouraged to do “extra service” so they could earn money as the initial payment of P500 from customers will entirely go to the establishment’s coffer. They also would have to pay the amount that is supposed to have been paid by the customer for the “extra service” if they decline.

Under the Anti-Human Trafficking Law, human traffickers can face up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to P2 million if convicted.

When reached for comment, Cabiles’ legal counsel Rameses Villagonzalo said they have not yet received a copy of the complaint.

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TAGS: Anti Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, Beah's Massage, brothel, court, extra service, extra services, human trafficking, massage parlor, National Bureau of Investigation, NBI, office of cebu city, RA 9208, Republic Act 9208, spa, spa operator, spa operators

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