Minors in Lapu-Lapu escape alleged abduction
17-year-old victim narrates how she and her companions were lured to apartment for ‘photoshoot’
(UPDATED) LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu—Police here are investigating an alleged abduction attempt on four minors last July 23, 2023, in Barangay Bankal.
The victims, who are girls aged 17, 14 and two 12 year olds, managed to escape the attempted abduction and were able to report the incident to the Pusok Police Station.
Their names are withheld for their protection.
Police said the Women and Children Protection Desk of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office will be investigating the incident.
One of the victims divulged the alleged abduction in an interview with radio station DyHP-RMN Cebu on Wednesday, July 26.
Minors invited for ‘photoshoot’
She said it started when someone who introduced herself as “Angie” messaged her through social media and asked her if she could take part in a photoshoot.
She said Angie offered her and her friends to become models of a milk tea brand.
The victim admitted she accepted the offer after the suspect promised to pay her a big amount of money and that they will be provided with free food, drinks, among others.
When she agreed, she and her friends were immediately picked up by a guy who introduced himself as Angelo Corilla. He was on a motorcycle.
“Nahibulong ko kay motor daw nga single ang among sakyan. Unya upat baya mi kabuok,” the victim said.
(We were confused because we were going to be picked up by a motorcycle. And we were four.)
She said they were forced to fit into the motorcycle, which is supposed to be able to carry only two.
Once in the motorcycle, the driver asked them to turn off their mobile phones.
They were then brought to an apartment along General Aviation road.
The victim described the apartment as secluded, far from other houses. She said that the suspect told her that they will be having their photo shoot on the third floor of the apartment.
She then said Angelo immediately forced them to enter his room in the apartment. However, the victims resisted and were able to escape.
“Gihakop nami niya pasulod. Ang duha namo ka kauban hapit masulod, unya ang usa kay nakahupo man,” she said.
(He forced us inside. Two of my companions were almost in while one was able to duck.)
“Ang laki nagtalikod man kay nagpasulod lagi, ako siyang gipatiran. Akong giingnan akong mga kauban nga dai laban mo dai,” she said.
(The man had his back against me when he was trying to force us in, so I kicked him. I told my friends to fight back.)
When they escaped, the victims immediately asked for assistance from some residents there. The victim said that two guys helped them and brought them to the Pusok Police Station.
Appeal to Mayor Chan
Police personnel immediately responded and went to the apartment where the foiled abduction took place.
However, the suspect was no longer there.
Inside the apartment, police discovered some chains, cable ties, bladed weapons, and other evidence.
Currently, police are conducting further investigation of the incident. They are trying to secure CCTV footage from near the apartment.
The parent of the 17-year-0ld, meanwhile, is appealing to Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan to look into this incident, so that suspect could be caught and would not be able to victimize other minors.
When asked for a comment about the alleged foiled abduction of the minors, Chan said through the Lapu-Lapu City PIO that he leaves this incident to the police to solve.
Message to parents of minors
In line with this recent case of alleged abduction of minors, police advised parents to monitor their young children, especially girls, to avoid falling for human trafficking scams with the fake promises of modeling jobs or money.
Police Major Dexter Basirgo, chief of Pusok Police Station in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, said parents should pay attention to their kids so that they won’t fall for this kind of traps.
“Sa atoang mga ginikanan, labi nag dunay mga anak nga babaye nya minor de edad, ila gid ning pagkamonitoron, pagkabantayan, he said.
(To the parents, especially those with daughters who are minors, they should make sure to always keep an eye on them.)
Basirgo added that the modus operandi of this type of criminals is promising the victims money or jobs, especially modeling jobs for females.
“In the premise nga himuon silang model unya wa diay sila kahibalo nga mabiktima na diay sila sa trafficking person,” he said.
(In the premise that they will be made into models but little would they know that they are victims of a trafficker.)
Case follow up
Personnel from the Women and Children Protection Desk continue to conduct a follow up investigation and checking CCTV footage in order to identify the alleged suspects.
Basirgo said as of this writing, personnel from WCPD are attending a case conference followup regarding this case with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), who interviewed the four minors.
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