Don’t hire mi­nors, bars and clubs told

Palawan News - - POLICE REPORT - By Gil­lian Faye Ibañez Re­porter

The Palawan po­lice have warned nu­mer­ous night­clubs and bars in the city and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the prov­ince not to hire mi­nors and get them in­volved in the sex trade.

Se­nior Supt. Gabriel Lopez, di­rec­tor of the Palawan Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Of­fice (PPO), is­sued the warn­ing af­ter re­ceiv­ing many re­ports that chil­dren are be­ing forced into the sex trade in cer­tain ar­eas in the prov­ince.

How­ever, Lopez did not dis­close spe­cific de­tails re­gard­ing re­ports of mi­nors be­ing ma­nip­u­lated and co­erced to en­gage in child pros­ti­tu­tion.

He said that his of­fice is now on height­ened mon­i­tor­ing to pre­vent the abuse of chil­dren by un­scrupu­lous in­di­vid­u­als.

“Nag­bibi­gay tayo nang ba­bala sa mga may painu­man, [bars], at restau­rant sa pag­tang­gap nila ng mga em­p­leyado na menor de edad, lalo na ‘yong in­volved nga sa ganyan na mag­ing sex worker. May mga batas tay­ong nandiyan,” Lopez said.

He said that with the flour­ish­ing tourism in­dus­try in the prov­ince, “the po­lice wants to en­sure that vul­ner­a­ble sec­tors like mi­nors are pro­tected.”

Lopez added that Camp Crame plans to es­tab­lish a lo­cal Women and Chil­dren Pro­tec­tion Desk (WCPD) unit to ad­dress the is­sue and to fur­ther ex­tend help to “hu­man traf­fick­ing” vic­tims.

“Madalas puma­pasyal dito ang mga per­son­nel ng Crame. Nag­ba­balak sila na maglagay ng opisina dito para matu­tukan nila ang [prob­lema bago lumala],” he said.

For his part, Se­nior Supt. Ron­nie Fran­cis Cariaga, Puerto Princesa City Po­lice Of­fice (PPCPO) di­rec­tor, said he will not tol­er­ate child pros­ti­tu­tion in the city even as he as­sured con­cerned par­ents they can al­ways ask them for help.

“Tala­gang ban­tayan ta­laga natin ang mga anak natin. I-guide [sila], mahi­rap na sa pana­hon ngayon, sa new gen­er­a­tion, hindi madali ang mag­ing isang mag­u­lang, dahil ang dami ni­lang (ng mga bata) mga up­dates ngayon, puwede silang makipag-chat kahit kanino around the world,” Cariaga said.

He said the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity also ex­ists on­line where mi­nors are sold to cus­tomers, and if any case in the city man­i­fests, the pub­lic should be vig­i­lant to im­me­di­ately re­port to them.

Ear­lier, a mother sought the help of au­thor­i­ties af­ter her teen daugh­ter was al­legedly sold by a rel­a­tive to a cus­tomer who is al­legedly a Chi­nese busi­ness­man.

The mother claimed that her 13-year old daugh­ter was brought to No Tel Lodge by this sus­pected child of­fender who in ex­change for a brand new smart­phone.

The mother will file charges against the sus­pects.

The sus­pects face charges for vi­o­lat­ing Repub­lic Act 7610 that car­ries a penalty of 20 to 30 years im­pris­on­ment.

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