Lawyer: Don’t judge Canadian in trafficking case
THE lawyer of the 73-year-old Canadian tourist arrested in Bogo city for bringing four minor girls to his motel room appealed to the public not to prejudge the man.
“There is big difference between public opinion and the decision of the court. Let’s wait for that (court decision),” Glenn Jumao-as told Cebu Daily News.
He said he would not discuss the case of his client Levis Talbot , who faces charges of child abuse and human trafficking.
“The media already released reports without hearing his side. Prejudgements have been made by the public. Bisan unsa ang isulti sa foreigner, dili na motoo ang publiko (Whatever the foreigner says, the public has already judged him),” he said.
Last week when Cebu Daily News visited Talbot at the Bogo City police jail, he declined to be interviewed: “No, I have nothing to say you,” he told this correspondent.
Jumao-as also declined to give details on the inquest proceedings where Talbot appeared at the Bogo City prosecutor’s office last Monday.
“Let’s wait and see what will happen next. I am not in a position to issue any statement on that. I hope you understand,” he said.
Jumao-as, a former Bogo City councilor is the legal counsel of Talbot, as well as the mother and grandmother of two of the undergae girls.
The three are detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) office in Bogo City.
“We are still negotiating and will decide next week who will handle the case,” he added.
Jumao-as confirmed that he is a friend of the family of the detained grandmother. He said he sees Talbot from time to time in detention.
“There are also other people who showed their concerns for him and of course he knows what’s happening outside,” Jumao-as said.
He declined to answer if Talbot’s family in Canada is keeping in touch with him as well.
Talbot and the two women were arrested last April 7 after police entered the Gabrielle Court motel and resuced four minors in the foreigner’s room, where they had stayed overnight.
The grandmother of the two girls denied any improper conduct took place, saying they had all come from a beach outing and the girls were riding with Talbot and ended up in his lodging house.
She said the family knew Talbot well since 2008 and considered him a close family friend, who would staying in their house when he visits Bogo.
Talbot also has been helping he family rebuild their house after it was destroyed by supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013.
Meanwhile, the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force said trafficking cases went down by 30 percent since 2009.
Insp. Sheryl Yu Bautista, task force deputy chief, said their 52 operations caught 118 suspects, of whom 112 are Filipinos, two are Australians, three Americans and one Danish national.
“Most of the suspects are Filipinos who are relatives of the victims. They are mostly accused as pimps,” she said in a press conference. There are 61 cases already filed in the court with 12 convictions.
“There are fewer convictions because some victims will not cooperate during the proceedings and say it is too time consuming,” Bautista said.
She said 659 victims were rescued of whom 78 are minors since 2008.
“So far there are no cases filed against resorts and motel owners except for clubs,” Bautista said.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.