Couple gets life for trafficking
A TRIAL court in Bogo City, northern Cebu, has convicted two bar owners for exposing women and children to prostitution in 2010.
Tim and his wife Arlene (not their real names) were found guilty of violating Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and were meted the penalty of life imprisonment.
Regional Trial Court Branch 61 Judge Antonio Marigomen in Bogo City handed down the verdict yesterday.
The two accused have the right to confidentiality under the old trafficking law since the case was filed in 2010 and the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act, which allowed the media to identify the accused, was enacted in 2010, the International Justice Mission said.
The two accused were arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force of the Philippine National Police at Cheers Videoke Bar in Bogo City on February 19, 2010.
Five minors and a woman were rescued.
Lawyer John Tanagho, deputy field office director of the IJM, expressed elation over the conviction of the couple.
“Get out of the illicit business of the commercial sexual exploitation of children or go to jail — that is the message sent by today’s convictions,” he said in a press statement.
“No one is above the law. Not bar managers and not bar owners,” he added.
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