LAW FOR THE IDIOTS: Day 27 (Human Trafficking)

 Noong 2012 lumabas sa pagsusuri na isinagawa ng ilang non-governmental organizations (sa tulong na rin ng US-AID at European Union) na ang Pilipinas ang lumalabas na pangatlo sa pinaka maraming kaso ng human trafficking with China and India on the top spots.

However, considering the population of the two (2) leading countries with most cases of human trafficking, medyo nakakabahala ang pagiging pangatlo ng Pilipinas kasi di naman kasing laki ng papulasyon natin ang papulasyon ng China and India.

At this point allow me now to quote the findings of US TIP Report in 2011, to wit:

“The Philippines is a source country and, to a much lesser extent, a destination and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.  A significant number of Filipino men and women who migrate abroad for work are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude worldwide.  Men, women, and children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in factories, at construction sites, on fishing vessels, on agricultural plantations, and as domestic workers in Asia and increasingly throughout the Middle East.  A significant number of women in domestic servitude abroad also face rape and violent physical and sexual abuse.  Skilled Filipino migrant workers, such as engineers and nurses, are also subjected to conditions of forced labor abroad.  Women were subjected to sex trafficking in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan and in various Middle Eastern countries.  Internal trafficking of men, women, and children also remains a significant problem in the Philippines.  People are trafficked from rural areas to urban centers including Manila, Cebu, the City of Angeles, and increasingly to cities in to Mindanao, as well as within urban areas.  Men are subjected to forced labor and debt bondage in the agriculture, fishing, and maritime industries.  Women and children were trafficked within the country for forced labor as domestic workers and small-scale factory workers, for forced begging, and for exploitation in the commercial sex industry.  Hundreds of victims are subjected to forced prostitution each day in well-known and highly visible business establishments that cater to both domestic and foreign demand for commercial sex acts.  Filipino migrant workers, both domestically and abroad, who became trafficking victims were often subject to violence, threats, inhumane living conditions, nonpayment of salaries, and withholding of travel and identity documents.”

May napansin ka ba sa report na iyan?  Hindi lang prostitusyon ang saklaw ng human trafficking.  Kasama din dyan ang forced labor and debt bondage o yung ginagawang pambayad utang.

Para klaro tayo, ano nga ba ang ibig sabihin ng human trafficking base sa batas natin?

Ayon sa Section 3 of RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking Law), ang trafficking in persons daw ay ang sumusunod:

“x x x tumutukoy sa pagrecruit, paglilikas, paglipat, pagtatago, o pagtanggap ng mga tao, payag man ang biktima o hindi, sa loob man o labas ng bansa, sa pamamagitan ng pagbabanta o paggamit ng pwersa, o iba pang uri ng pamimilit, pagtangay o abduction, pamemeke o panloloko, pang-aabuso sa kapangyarihan o katangkulan, pagsasamantala sa kahinaan ng isang tao, o ang pagbibigay o pagtanggap ng kabayaran o iba pang benepisyo upang makamit ang pagpayag ng isang taong may control sa isa pang tao, para sa eksploitation, na kasama subalit hindi lamang para eksploitasyon, prostitusyon o sekswal na pang-aalipin, pang-aalila, o ang pagtanggal o pagbenta ng mga bahagi ng tawan ng mga tao.


“Ang paggamit, paglilipat, paglilikas, pagtatago o pagtanggap ng isang bata para sa ekspoitasyon ay tatawagin ding ‘trafficking in persons’ kahit na ito ay isinagawa nang wala ang mga kaparaanang nakasaan.”

Mula sa depinisyon ng trafficking in person, mapapansin natin na ang krimen na iyon ay tumutukoy sa PROCESS, MEANS at PURPOSE.  Kumbaga dapat meron yung tatlong iyon: may proseso, may paraan, at dapat may dahilan o purpose.

PERO kung ang biktima ay isang bata o minor de edad, kahit wala yung means o paraan na sinasabi sa definition sa itaas, ikokonsidera pa rin siyang trafficking in persons.

Base sa expanded version ng Anti-Human Trafficking Law natin (RA No. 10364), meron tayong limang (5) uri ng human trafficking at sila ang mga sumusunod:

  1. sexual exploitation;
  2. forced labor or services;
  3. slavery;
  4. servitude; and
  5. removal or sale of organs

Would you believe na merong 12 acts of trafficking?  Eto:

(a) To recruit, obtain, hire, provide, offer, transport, transfer, maintain, harbor, or receive a person by any means, including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, or sexual exploitation;

(b) To introduce or match for money, profit, or material, economic or other consideration, any person or, as provided for under Republic Act No. 6955, any Filipino woman to a foreign national, for marriage for the purpose of acquiring, buying, offering, selling or trading him/her to engage in prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;

(c) To offer or contract marriage, real or simulated, for the purpose of acquiring, buying, offering, selling, or trading them to engage in prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor or slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;

(d) To undertake or organize tours and travel plans consisting of tourism packages or activities for the purpose of utilizing and offering persons for prostitution, pornography or sexual exploitation;

(e) To maintain or hire a person to engage in prostitution or pornography;

(f) To adopt persons by any form of consideration for exploitative purposes or to facilitate the same for purposes of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;

(g) To adopt or facilitate the adoption of persons for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;

(h) To recruit, hire, adopt, transport, transfer, obtain, harbor, maintain, provide, offer, receive or abduct a person, by means of threat or use of force, fraud, deceit, violence, coercion, or intimidation for the purpose of removal or sale of organs of said person;

(i) To recruit, transport, obtain, transfer, harbor, maintain, offer, hire, provide, receive or adopt a child to engage in armed activities in the Philippines or abroad; 

(j) To recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, obtain, maintain, offer, hire, provide or receive a person for purposes of forced labor, slavery, debt bondage and involuntary servitude, including a scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person either: 

(1) To believe that if the person did not perform such labor or services, he or she or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint; or                                                                                                    

(2) To abuse or threaten the use of law or the legal processes; and 

(k) To recruit, transport, harbor, obtain, transfer, maintain, hire, offer, provide, adopt or receive a child for purposes of exploitation or trading them, including but not limited to, the act of baring and/or selling a child for any consideration or for barter for purposes of exploitation. Trafficking for purposes of exploitation of children shall include: 

(1) All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, involuntary servitude, debt bondage and forced labor, including recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; 

(2) The use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography, or for pornographic performances; 

(3) The use, procuring or offering of a child for the production and trafficking of drugs; and 

(4) The use, procuring or offering of a child for illegal activities or work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm their health, safety or morals; and 

“(l) To organize or direct other persons to commit the offenses defined as acts of trafficking under this Act.”

Ngayon ay bibigyan kita ng ilang halimbawa ng actual human trafficking cases mula sa ibang bansa.

  1. The Cambodian Girl (Kieu) – sold by her mother for her virginity to the point that the mother even procured a certificate of virginity to a local doctor.  The girl was sold to a man who raped her for two days in a motel.

She was later on sold by her mother to brothels on three separate occasions and was only able to escape after learning that her mother will again send her away for a 6-month prostitution stint.

  1. The American Girl (Tessa) – The girl was first abused by her very own father when she was still as young as 7.  Her mother was of no help since she was too consumed with her own issue being a drug addict.

She was in her second year high school when she met Jared.  He showed her affection and showered her with gifts.  The dated most of the time and reminded her that no one could possible love her because she was damaged.  She had no idea that time that he was, in truth and in fact, a pimp.

Soon thereafter, Jared was able to convince her to sell her body for sex and would attack her and deprive her of food if she will not be able to meet her quota.  He kept all her money she earned and forced her to have his name tattoed on her neck.

Tessa managed to escape and found refuge with Not For Sale (NGO).

  1. Man in Peru – Oscar is a 16 year old lad who was convinced by his cousin to work for a gold mine in Madre de Dios.  He was told that he will be paid for his hard work with “chunks of gold”.

It was only after travelling for five (5) days by river when he learned that his cousin sold him to the mine and he must perform hard work there for 90 days.

Two weeks at the site, Oscar contacted malaria and was left to die.  But his fellow slaves shared their meager food or share with him to keep him alive.  Soon thereafter, he survived and finished the contract in which his cousin sold him for.  After working for 8 months to fulfill the so-called contract, he was allowed to leave.

  1. Indian Slave –the story of 14 year old Elaina is not too far-fetched to other child victims of trafficking.

Elaina belonged to a very poor family in India who earned their keeps by pea-picking.  But when the farm where they worked closed, they started to starve further.  A trafficker approached her parents and told them that he will change their lives.  Quickly, her parents agreed to send her away with him.

The girl was promised 1,500 rupees a month. Instead, she was imprisoned in her trafficker’s home for four years where she started work at 4 a.m., was often raped and was not allowed to leave the house or contact her family.

Elaina finally broke free after she was sold to a new owner who had compassion for the girl and send her home.

source: by Eleanor Goldber (Jan. 8, 2015)

Syempre, di kumpeto ang Law For The Idiots kung wala tayong actual case dito sa Pilipinas kaya naman eto ang No. 5:

  1. People vs Hadjja Jarma Lalli y Purih, et al. (G.R. No. 195419, October 12, 2011)

Ito ang kwento ni Lolita, isang 23 years old na dalaga na tubong Zamboanga City.

Noong gabi ng June 3, 2005 habang papunta siya sa bahay ng lolo niya ay nasalubong niya si Ronnie at Rachel.  Tinanong siya ni Rachel kung interesado daw ba itong si Lolita na magtrabaho sa Malaysia.  Um-oo naman si Lolita at binigay niya ang cellphone number niya kay Ronnie.

Kinabukasan nakatanggap nga ng text message si Lolita galling kay Ronnie.  Magkita daw sila para mapag-usapan nila yung prospective job na inaalok nila kay Lolita.  From there, sinabi na kay Lolita na ang magiging trabaho niya if ever ay isang restaurant entertainer.  Passport lang daw ang kailangan niya at ang magiging sahod niya ay 500 Malaysian ringgits.

Ang kaso, sinabi niya kay Ronnie na wala daw siyang passport.  Sinabi naman sa kanya ng lalaki na  passport para makaalis siya kaagad papuntang Malaysia.  Dito nga ay nabanggit ni Lolita na merong passport ang nakababatang kapatid niyang si Marife.  Biniro pa siya ni Ronnie na bakit daw di kaagad sa kanya sinabi.

So from there, sinabi sa kanya ni Ronnie sa 2 days (June 6) after makakaalis na siya papuntang Malaysia.

On June 5, 2005, at about 6:00 o’clock in the evening, dumating sina Ronnie at Rachel sa bahay kung saan tumutuloy si Lolita.  Tinanong ni Ronnie si Lolita kung may passport na ito.  Sinabi ni Lolita na hihiramin daw niya ang passport ng kapatid niya.

Nang sapilitang makuha ni Lolita ang passport ng kapatid niyang si Marife, dumiretso na silang tatlo sa bahay ng isang taong nagngangalang Hadja.  Pinakilala nina Ronnie sa kanya si Lolita at sinabi nilang ito nga raw si Lolita ay interesado ding pumunta ng Malaysia.  Sinabi ni Hadja na wala daw problema kasi may koneksyon daw sila sa DFA at kaya daw nilang i-substitute ang picture ni Lolita sa passport kapalit ng picture ng kapatid nitong si Marife.

Maya-maya ay dumating naman si Nestor na pinakilala nila kay Lolita na financer daw na siyang magsasama kay Lolita sa Malaysia.  Napansin ni Lolita na sa owner-type jeep ni Nestor ay may iba pang mga babae; sina Honey, about 20 years old; Michele, 19 years old, and another woman who is about 28 years old. Sinabi sa kanila ni Ronnie na marami pa daw silang mga kasamahan na pupunta rin ng Malaysia kung saan sila magtatrabaho.  They will leave the next day, June 6, and will meet at the wharf at 2:30 in the afternoon.

On June 6, 2005, Lolita went to Zamboanga City wharf at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon bringing a bag containing her make-up and powder.  Sinalubong siya sa wharf nina Hadja, Ronnie, Honey at Michele.  Binigay sa kanya ni Ronnie ang boat ticket niya para sa M/V Mary Joy patungong Sandakan, Malaysia.  Binigay din sa kanya ang passport under the name of Marife Plando (the younger sister) pero this time ay may picture na ni Lolita. Binigyan din siya ng P1,000.  Doon nga ay sinabi sa kanya na maganda daw ang trabaho nila sa Malaysia.  Magseserve lang daw sila ng pagkain sa mga customers at hindi sila masasaktan.  Umalis sila kasama ng iba pang recruit na mga kababihan habang naiwan naman si Ronnie.

Pagdating nila sa Malaysia, dinala ang mga babae sa isang hotel kung saan sila pinakilala sa isang Chinese Malay na tinatawag nilang “Boss”.  Ito daw ang employer nila.

Dinala ngayon ang mga babae sa restaurant na pagtatrabahuan nila.  Nilapitan sila ng isang Filipinang nagtatrabaho dun at sinabi sa kanila na ang restaurant na iyon ay in fact isang prostitution den at ang mga babae doon ay ginagawang mga prostitutes.  Bumalik sina Lolita at ang ibang mga babae sa hotel at sinabi nila kay Hadya at Nestor na ayaw nilang magtrabaho bilang mga prostitutes.  After 5 minutes, dumating si “Boss”.  Sinundo sila ng isang van bandang 7 o’clock ng gabi at dinala na sila sa Pipen Club na pag-aari ni “Boss Awa” na isang Malaysian.  Doon nga ay sinabihan sila na may utang daw silang 2,000 ringgits bawat isa bilang kabayaran sa ibinigay ng club kina Hadja at Nestor.  Babayaran daw nila bawat isa ang nasabing halaga by entertaining customers.  Bawat isang customer ay nagbabayad ng 300 ringgits for short time services, 50 ringgits ang mapupunta sa entertainer.  500 ringgits naman ang bayad ng customer for overnight service at 100 ringgits ang ibibigay sa entertainer.  May 100 kababaihan ang nagtatrabaho sa Pipen Club at karamihan dito ay mga Pilipina.

And that was the start of Lolita’s living hell.

She was forced to work as entertainer at Pipen Club. She started working at 8:30 in the evening of June 14, 2005. She was given the number 60 which was pinned on her. That night, she had her first customer who selected her among the other women at the club. He was a very big man, about 32 years old, a Chinese-Malay who looked like a wrestler. The man paid for short time service at the counter. Lolita was given by the cashier a small pink paper. She was instructed to keep it. A small yellow paper is given to the entertainer for overnight services. The customer brought Lolita to a hotel. She did not like to go with him but a “boss” at the club told her that she could not do anything. At the hotel, the man poked a gun at Lolita and instructed her to undress. She refused. The man boxed her on the side of her body. She could not bear the pain. The man undressed her and had sexual intercourse with her. He had sexual intercourse with her every fifteen minutes or four times in one hour. When the customer went inside the comfort room, Lolita put on her clothes and left. The customer followed her and wanted to bring her back to the hotel but Lolita refused.

At about 1:00 o’clock in the morning of June 15, 2005, Lolita was chosen by another customer, a tall dark man, about 40 years old. The customer paid for an overnight service at the counter and brought Lolita to Mariner Hotel which is far from Pipen Club. At the hotel, the man told Lolita to undress. When she refused, the man brought her to the comfort room and bumped her head on the wall. Lolita felt dizzy. The man opened the shower and said that both of them will take a bath. Lolita’s clothes got wet. She was crying. The man undressed her and had sexual intercourse with her. They stayed at the hotel until 11:00 o’clock in the morning of June 15, 2005. The customer used Lolita many times. He had sexual intercourse with her every hour.

Lolita worked at Pipen Club from June 14 to July 8, 2005. Gabi-gabi ay iba’t ibang customers ang gumagamit sa kanya.  She had at least one customer or more a night, and at most, she had around five customers a night.

On July 9, 2005, nagawang makontak ni Lolita by cellphone at about 10:00 o’clock in the morning ang kapatid niyang si Janet na nasa Malaysia rin at na kasal sa isang Indonesian national na nagtatrabaho bilang factory driver.  Humingi siya ng tulong dito at sinabing binebenta siya bilang prostitute sa restaurant na pinagtatrabahuan niya.  Binigay niya sa kapatid ang address ng restaurant.

Noon ngang alas 9 ng gabi ay may isang customer ang kumuha sa kanya.  Paglapit niya sa customer tinanong siya kung siya daw pa si Lolita na kapatid ni Janet.  Tumango naman si Lolita kay nagbayad na sa counter ang lalaki at sabay silang lumabas.

In short, yan ang nagging means of escape ni Lolita hanggang sa nakabalik siya sa Pilipinas.  Pagdating niya dito ay kinasuhan niya lahat ng taong kasabwat sa pagbebenta sa kanya as prostitute sa Malaysia.

Kinasuhan ng violation of Human Trafficking Law and Illegal Recruitment sina Hadja.

Kinonvict ng RTC sina Hadja, Ronnie at Nestor for the two crimes.  Umapela ang mga akusado hanggang sa umakyat ito sa SC.

Eto ngayon ang sabi ng SC:

Illegal Recruitment

Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8042 (RA 8042) defines illegal recruitment, as follows:

llegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers and includes referring, contact services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13(f) of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines.

Sinabi dito na kahit by merely referring isa na itong act of Illegal Recruitment kasi nga ang contention ni Nestor ay wala naman daw siyang kinalalaman sa kung anong trabaho pala ang papasukan ni Lolita pagdating sa Malaysia.  As a matter of fact, wala naman daw siyang kinita dun.  Tumulong lang naman daw siya.  Pero according sa batas natin for Illegal Recruitment kahit pa for profit or not, the mere fact na wala kang authority from DOLE to recruit, o kahit pa magrefer man lang, then you are already committing illegal recruitment.

Trafficking In Persons

Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 9208 (RA 9208), otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, defines Trafficking in Persons, as follows:

Trafficking in Persons – refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victim’s consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs. x x x

Section 4 of RA 9208 enumerates the prohibited acts of Trafficking in Persons, one of which is:

(a) To recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, provide, or receive a person by any means, including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage.

In this case, sinabi ni Ronnie na di daw siya pwedeng ma-convict sa Human Trafficking kasi hindi naman daw siya part nung group na nagtransport kina Lolita papuntang Malaysia.  On the part of Hadja sinabi niya na nakilala niya lang sina Lolita nung nasa barko na sila papuntang Malaysia.

Ang sabi ng SC, ang batas natin against Human Trafficking is not only limited sa pagtatransport ng mga victims, pero pinaparusahan din dito ang act ng pagrerecruit ng mga biktima for trafficking.

Sa kasong ito, napatunayan na nagkaroon ng conspiracy sina Nestor, Ronnie, at Hadja para magcommit ng crime ng illegal recruitment para i-recruit si Lolita as prostitute.  It follows that they are also guilty of Qualified (kasi 3 silang akusado) Trafficking in Persons kasi ang act of recruitment for prostitution ay isa sa mga acts na pinaparusahan under the Anti-Human Trafficking Act.

Eto medyo technical na.  Pero sa batas kasi natin pag ang isang act is being punished by two different laws, nagpo-produce ka ng two different offenses.  So ang “recruitment” under the Illegal Recruitment will not bar the prosecution for “recruitment” under Trafficking In Persons.

The prohibition on double jeopardy does not apply to an act or series of acts constituting different offenses.





6 thoughts on “LAW FOR THE IDIOTS: Day 27 (Human Trafficking)

  1. madame. yung totoo di ko pa binabasa lahat sa haba. pero welcome back 😛

  2. madame, ako din yun totoo di ko pa binasa lahat, pero welcome back din. hihi. p.s. ang reason kaya di nabasa lahat kasi ala-una na ng umaga. hehe

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