8 human trafficking victims rescued in Tawi-Tawi

8 human trafficking victims rescued in Tawi-Tawi

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities have rescued over the weekend eight victims of human trafficking in Tawi-Tawi province, a top police official said Monday.

Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said the victims were rescued around 8 p.m. Saturday at the port of Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi.

Verceles said the victims, all of legal age, are from the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte with three; two each from this city and Zamboanga del Sur; and one from Zamboanga Sibugay.

The Bongao municipal inter-agency committee against trafficking rescued the victims after receiving a tip that a commercial ferry docked at its port will be transporting a group of people to Malaysia via Tawi-Tawi.

Verceles said the victims admitted that they were recruited to work in Malaysia without the necessary documents.

They were turned over to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development Office in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for counseling and appropriate assistance before their return to their respective hometowns.

Earlier, Rear Adm. Donn Anthony Miraflor, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, ordered the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Tawi-Tawi to be on the lookout for possible victims of human trafficking.

On Feb. 12, the JTF-Tawi-Tawi also rescued six Malaysian-bound victims in Bongao port. (PNA)

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