6 Cebu LGUs named trafficking hotspots

THE towns of Sibonga, Moalboal and Santander and the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Ta-lisay have red flags as far as trafficking of women and children is concerned.

This was revealed by Public Information Agency (PIA) 7 Director Minerva Newman, who is also a member of the Provincial Commission for the Welfare and Protection of Children.

But she said the status of the six local government units as hotspots has not been validated even though the commission has received numerous reports on trafficking of women and children.

There was no mention of Cordova, where 10 minors were rescued in two separate operations against online pornography earlier this year.

Still, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Patrocinio Comendador said cybersex in Cebu is “not alarming.”

Other LGUs

For CPPO, the areas with red flags are: Alegria, Dumanjug, Toledo City, Daanbantayan, Consola-cion, Cordova, Minglanilla and Argao. This was based on the operations

conducted, which resulted to the rescue of minors since 2009.

Comendador conducted a briefing on trafficking and cybersex for members of the Cebu Association of City and Municipal Public Information Officers (Cao-campio) yesterday.

The police believe that Caocampio members, led by Cebu City information officer Carlo Dugaduga, would be able to influence their local government officials to formulate policies against trafficking.

Since 2009, there have been six operations in Cordova town that resulted in the arrest of 26 alleged traffickers. Five are facing cases for Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act while four are charged with violation of the Anti-Child Pornography Act.

Victim

Newman said a three-year-old child from Sibonga who was rescued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development cries every time she sees a computer. The child was a victim of cybersex.

Newman said Sibonga, Moalboal, Santander, Ta-lisay, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu are all transit points and these areas also have the most number of women married to foreigners.

This information surprised Moalboal Councilor Pedro Abrenica who attended the meeting as designated information officer of the town.

“I don't know what to say. When I get back to the town, I would have to talk with the other officials and more importantly the police and get the background,” said Abrenica in Bisaya.

Carcar information officer Solomon Enriquez, however, said it is difficult to make anti-trafficking arrests because perpetrators have to be caught in the act.

Comendador said information dissemination and education campaign are important in the campaign against trafficking. He added that the communities in Cebu are already getting involved.

Related story: 3 minors, 2 adults rescued at Cebu pier

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