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68 trafficking victims rescued in Isabela, Pagadian

Zamboanga City –  The  Philippine Center on Transnational Crime-Western Mindanao Field Office (PCTC-WMFO) in this city has rescued a total of 68 persons who were about  to become human trafficking victims last month.

PCTC-WMFO reported that 24 women and two men were rescued at White beach in Isabela City in Basilan province on January 20 by the Isabela City Police Station, led by Supt. Jerome Afuyog Jr.

The 26 victims were spotted by Capt. Jay M. Namoca of the  Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion, who immediately contacted Afuyog for the rescue.

PCTC-WMFO disclosed that human traffickers now use Basilan province as their jump-off  point in transporting their victims from island to island until  they reach Tawi-Tawi, which is just few minutes away by boat from Sabah, Malaysia.

Human traffickers are now careful in using Zamboanga City as their jump-off point because of the recent arrests that were made by law enforcers recently.

The human traffickers are also reportedly using Pagadian City as their arrival  destination coming  from  the different places in the country before heading to Tawi-Tawi province.

Operating teams are from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Bongao Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, Naval Intelligence Group of Naval Forces Western Mindanao and  Women Children’s Protection Desk-Western Mindanao Field Unit also  rescued  five women and two men in Sibutu island in Tawi-Tawi.

PCTC-WMFO also reported that 1,767 deportees from Sabah, Malaysia arrived in Zamboanga City latest month.

They were brought to the Processing Center for Displaced Persons situated in Barangay Mampang in this city.