14-year-old twins rescued from 2 foreigners
POLICE arrested two foreigners and their Filipina cohort after authorities rescued the 14-year-old female twins living with them in Asturias town in northwestern Cebu.
John Herman Carder Jr., 76, and Jim Dean Syfert, 52, were arrested by the Asturias police in their rented house in Barangay Sta. Lucia past 8 p.m. on Monday.
Senior Insp. Roger Quijano, Asturias Police Station chief, said they also arrested the alleged Filipina cohort of the two suspect, 19-year-old Frailine Mae Sagabala.
In an interview with Cebu Daily News, Quijano said that concerned citizens informed the police that Carder and Syfert were “living” with the 14-year-old twins in their rented house under suspicious circumstances.
After they received the report, Quijano said they immediately coordinated with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of Asturias to plan the rescue.
On Monday evening, the Asturias police and the town’s MSWDO entered the house and were taken aback when they found one of the foreigners to be wearing only underwear while having a drinking session with the two minors.
“Na surprisa mi kay nag inom pud ang minors kuyog sa mga langyaw (We were also surprised because the minors were also drinking with the foreigners),” said Quijano.
Quijano said the concerned citizens also reported that the two foreigners and their cohort Sagabala preyed on the two girls by offering them work as household helps.
“Si Sagabala live-in partner na ni Syfert. Dili pud na siya taga Asturias. Taga Pinamungajan na siya. Usa pa lang na sila ka buwan diha sa Asturias,” said Quijano.
(Sagabala is reportedly the live-in partner of Syfert. She is also not from Asturias but is a native of Pinamungajan town. They have only been in Asturias for a month)
Upon their follow up investigation, Quijano said they found out that the suspects met with the minors only on October 26.
“Niadtong Oktobre 26 sila ni offer aning mga minors ug nisaad og mga butang (they only met the minors last October 26 and they promised the girls to give them some things) ,” said Quijano.
The foreigners offered the twins cellular phones, P500 to purchase some clothes, installation of electricity for their house, and full scholarship grants, according to Quijano.
Quijano said the twins are now under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The twins are also residents of Asturias and social workers have already spoken to their parents, said Quijano.
Carder, Syfert, and Sagabla are currently detained at the Asturias Police Station.
The two foreigners and their Filipina cohort will be facing charges for violating Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Since the victims are minors, the offense falls under qualified trafficking, a non-bailable offense if evidence of guilt is strong. A court conviction would mean life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P2 million to P5 million.
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