Quick response of the Valenzuela City police led to the arrest of two female suspects in illegal recruitment of female minors for work as “entertainers” abroad, June 22, 2013.
The arrested suspectswere identified as siblings, Vilma Santos y Gatab, alias “Joan”, 37, single, a native of Saluysoy, Bulacan and currently residing at 4 Jethro Apartment, Burol 2nd, Balagtas, Bulacan and Cristal Santos y Gatab, alias “Tal”, 32, single, unemployed, a resident of #61B St. Peter, Veinte Reales, Valenzuela City.
On June 21, 2013, Ms. Linda Santiago of Valenzuela City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and Atty. Aileen Suansing of Valenzuela City Legal Office assisted the mother of one of the victims, and Mau (name withheld), 15, a minor who was being lured to their illegal activity, and her mother, all from Barangay Karuhatan.
They seeked help from the local Women and Children's Protection Desk. An investigation led by Valenzuela WCPD Chief SPO1 Lorena A. Hernandez, was conducted in connection to R.A. 9208 or the Anti-Human Trafficking Law.
The investigation revealed that on June 17, 2013, Mau and her friend Mae (real name withheld), 14, went to SM Marilao in Bulacan to meet the recruiter for entertainers in Malaysia identified as “Ate Joan”.
After the meet-up, the minors were brought to the house of a certain “Tal”, Joan’s sister in Veinte Reales, Valenzuela City. Mae was asked to remove her shirt and was then photographed. The suspects told the minors that they will receive PhP 500 each if they will have sex with their customers. The recruiters also promised that they will be sent to Malaysia and will earn up to PhP 30,000 as entertainers in a bar.
On June 19, 2013, Mae called Mau to inform the latter that she is already in Bangkok and asked her to keep it from her parents.
After the investigation, Valenzuela City Acting Chief of Police P/SSUPT Rhoderick C. Armamento, formed a group for the entrapment operation of the suspected human traffickers in coordination with the CSWDO and the City Legal Office. Mau and her friend Elaiza, posed as applicants.
On June 22, 2013, at about 3:00 pm, the group has confirmed the location of Tal’s house where Mau and Elaiza are being “interviewed” by Tal. Tal said that Elaiza will pass as an entertainer after inspecting their bodies.
Mau and Elaiza were instructed to meet Joan in front of Banga Elementary School in MacArthur Highway, Banga, Meycauayan Bulacan.
After proper coordination with the Meycauayan Police Station, the team together with Mau and Elaiza proceeded to the subject place which resulted in the arrest of “Joan”, and simultaneously, another team arrested Tal in her house at Veinte Reales, Valenzuela City.
The arrested suspects are now in custody of Valenzuela Police facing charges for the violation of RA 9208. They have admitted to having recruited Mae who is currently in Malaysia. They also admitted that they have already recruited two minors from Barangay Karuhatan aged 14 and 17 who are also now in Malaysia.
According to them, their boss is a certain Hans and Jane Balagtas of Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City. The police force is now currently in pursuit for the two suspect, also, in violation of RA 9208.