27 women rescued, 3 pimps nabbed in a KTV bar raid
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Twenty seven women, including 11 minors, were rescued and their three alleged male pimps, one of whom a minor, were arrested when police raided a KTV bar that allegedly doubled as a prostitution den in General Maxilom Avenue, Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City.
Police Lieutenant Erlinda Mayam, of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD), said a joint team from the police and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) raided the bar shortly before midnight on Saturday, August 17, after they were able to confirm that women were being used in the alleged prostitution activities inside the KTV bar.
The rescued minors, with ages ranging from 15 to 18 years old, as well as the other women, who were all in their 20s, have been turned over to the custody of DSWD, Mayam said on Sunday.
However, Mayam said they still have to verify the ages of those who claimed to be adults as some of them have tried to claim they were of legal age but were found to be minors.
The arrested suspects were identified as Jefferson Bolo Taplad, 44, of A. Lopez, Cebu City; Ricardo Sariego Deligero, 30, of Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City; and a 16-year-old boy.
Mayam told CDN Digital by phone that before they raided the KTV bar, it was placed under surveillance for three weeks after they were alerted that women were being sold for sex at the bar.
The establishment offers rooms for rent by the hour to its customers supposedly for karaoke sessions.
Mayam said that according to the victims, they often received from P500 to P1,000 from Taplada, Deligero and the 16-year-old boy for every client they served.
She said their original targets were only Taplada and Deligero but after verification from their sources and the victims, they also apprehended the 16-year-old boy who was also allegedly recruiting more girls to be prostituted.
According to Mayam, the practice was for customers to take the women offered to them out of the establishment while the meet up and payment happened inside the rooms of the bar. But there were also instances when the sexual activities happened in the rooms of the bar after the payment and meet up.
A case for violation of Republic Act 10364, or the Expanded Anti-trafficking in Persons Act, was being prepared and would be filed before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office against the three suspects, who are currently detained at the CCPO detention cell.
The raid was a joint operation of CCPO, WCPD, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit in Central Visayas (RACU-7) and Investigation and Detective Management Branch (IDMB)./elb
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