MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the life imprisonment imposed by an Angeles City court on two women found guilty of repeatedly peddling a pre-teen to foreigners in 2013.
Marife Villaflores and Joan Simbillo were found guilty of child trafficking by the Angeles City Regional Trial Court (Branch 61) in 2018, a decision upheld in a 19-page decision dated October 11 by CA Associate Justice Ramon Cruz.
Villaflores was found guilty of four counts of qualified child trafficking and meted out fines of not less than PHP2 million and exemplary and moral damages of PHP200,000 for each of the four charges.
Simbillo was similarly guilty for two counts and incurred the same penalties and fines.
“Human beings are not chattels whose sexual favors are bought or sold by greedy pimps. Those who profit in this way by recruiting minors are rightfully, by law, labeled as criminals. They should be the subject of aggressive law enforcement, prosecuted, tried, and when proof beyond reasonable doubt exists, punished,” the decision read.
The victim, who was only 11 years old at the time of the initial incident in December 2013, claimed Villaflores first took pictures of her.
They then met Simbillo and proceeded to the house of a foreigner named Tom, who brought the minor to a hotel.
Tom gave the child PHP2,000 and Simbillo PHP3,000 before they met again with Villaflores.
Villaflores took the child’s money, gave her PHP250 and fruits, and instructed her not to tell anyone about the incident.
On January 1, 2014, the child was set up anew with Tom, who gave her PHP2,000 again but Villaflores got half of the payment.
On two occasions in April 2014, Villaflores delivered the child to another foreigner, Charles, who paid PHP1,000 for each. (PNA)