4 human trafficking victims rescued, 3 nabbed in Biliran

MANILA Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested three suspected human traffickers and rescued four victims who were forced to perform lewd acts in exchange for money in separate operations in the provinces of Biliran and Leyte.

In a press conference Tuesday, NBI Director Dante Gierran identified the suspects Renelyn Medalla, Michelle Medalla and Ariel Verana who were arrested in an entrapment operation in Biliran on February 23.

Gierran said the case stemmed from information stating that Renelyn, who appeared to be based in Tacloban City, Leyte, was offering under-aged Filipino girls online for sexually-related shows in exchange for a sum of money payable through remittance centers and similar methods.

Surveillance operations were conducted at the exact residence of the subject where the alleged human trafficking activities take place.

After confirming the human tracking activities, an entrapment operation was conducted in coordination with the NBI-Eastern Visayas Regional Office (EVRO), Tacloban City Police Office, and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

On Feb. 24, authorities conducted a follow-up operation in Tacloban City which led to the rescue of the four victims, two of whom are minors.

The suspects were brought to NBI-EVRO for the standard booking procedures while the rescued victims were brought to the City Social Welfare and Development in Tacloban City.

The three suspects were charged with violations of RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) as amended by RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012); RA 7610 (Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination, and for other Purposes) as amended; RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 and of RA 10175 (The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) during an inquest proceeding before the Office of the City Prosecutor, Tacloban City.

Source: Philippine News Agency