Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Police rescue three minors working in Zambales bar

Three underaged girls working as "guest relations officers" (GRO) at a bar in Zambales were rescued in a police raid Wednesday, authorities announced.

The three victims, with ages of 16, 15 and 13, were rescued by 3rd Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (3CIDU) operatives and local Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) personnel during a police raid at the Meteor Garden Videoke Bar in Iba town in Zambales Wednesday.

The bar's owner, Melanie Sitchon, was arrested for employing underaged girls at her establishment. Senior Superintendent Marvin Bolabola, 3CIDU chief, said Sitchon did not resist arrest.

Police were alerted about the bar's illegal activities after criminal complaints were filed by two of the girls' parents, alleging that their daughters had been recruited by the videoke bar and were forced to work as GROs. Bolabola said that the raid was conducted on the basis of complaints filed by Nenita Erando and Amparo Rodriquez, both from Subic, at the Zambales Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (ZCIDT) office.

The victims later confirmed that Sitchon was the person who recruited them. They said that the suspect promised them a restaurant job that was "decent with good salary", only to find out that they would be working at a beer house. The victims reportedly told investigators that they were not permitted leave the bar's premises and were told by the owner to stay in one room.

Sitchon was detained at a ZCIDT detention facility. Bolabola said they will file charges of human trafficking and child abuse against the suspect.

The victims, meanwhile, were brought to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) after the raid.

Bolabola said that the raid was in line with 3CIDU's "Oplan Sagip Anghel" or Operational Campaign Against Child Abuse and Exploitation, a campaign to save minors working in bars and beer houses. With a report from Jess Malabanan -ABS CBN NEWS

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  • This is a good step taken by the authorities. What about all the young philipinas abroad who are in similar trap and receive a simlar treatment, with no way of escaping? (Korea especially)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/06/2009 8:13 PM  

  • Is this some kind of crazy setup or just a poor reflection on the fabric of Filipino society, the family unit?
    How can these parents be the complainants about their children working in a bar? Why were the parents not being responsible for their children? How did the children come to be out of the family home all night to be working in such a job at a such a young age? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PARENTS?
    Or is this s simple matter that the parents allowed this to happen so that they could set up the extortion after the raid? In which case the parents should be the ones charged with trafficking because they exposed their children to danger just to make profits.
    I am taking no responsibility away from the bar owner but Social Welfare and the Police should charge the parents for trafficking and neglect.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/25/2009 4:56 PM  

  • To the second commenter, Are you reading the news properly? The news said that the girls were promised to have a decent jobs, "waitress in the restaurant". and the job recruiter mislead the girls and probably the parents.In the Philippines, not all people have the same status of living and some of them needs to help their parents to make a living. Read the news and understand it well before you make such an ignorant comment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/06/2009 11:36 PM  

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