NBI files MR for dismissed human trafficking case

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) district office in Dagupan City has filed a motion for reconsideration for the human trafficking and child abuse cases it filed against two Chinese and one Taiwanese nationals dismissed by the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Lingayen.

The foreigners were charged for employing minors and adults working on fish cages in hazardous conditions in Sual town.

NBI Dagupan Investigation Agent Mark Genesis Caceres said a hold departure order were also filed against Taiwanese Tai Tse-Yu, manager of Star Mega Seahorse Corp. that operated fish cages in Cabalitian Bay in Sual and Chinese couple Hau Quichang (Ho Chi Chang) and Hau Shuiping (Ho Xi-Ping), both company supervisors.

The three respondents were arrested on July 19 when combined elements of the NBI, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) rescued 39 workers that included five children.

The NBI filed cases of human trafficking and child abuse against the three foreign nationals but the complaint was dismissed by the Provincial Prosecutor on July 25 for violation of Republic Act 9208 as amended by RA 10364 and violation of RA 7610 and ordered their release.

Caceres said charges against the owners of the company are being prepared after NBI filed an ex-parte motion for hold departure order against the three respondents on July 30 simultaneous with the filing of their motion for reconsideration at the Prosecutor’s Office.

In his MR, Caceres maintained that the law enforcement operation was done to rescue minors who were being employed under exploitative, hazardous conditions.

“Common sense would dictate that human beings cannot be subject for a search warrant,” the MR said.

Besides the rescue of minor laborers, other adult workers were also rescued from labor exploitation, a violation of our Labor Laws and Human Trafficking Act.

It also cited the DSWD ‘s authority and power to conduct rescue operations of minors if their lives are at stake and exploitation of minors is happening.

The DSWD was also armed with a letter of authority from their regional director regarding the rescue operation, Caceres said.

It was one of the rescued children who secretly sent a text message to his parents in Leyte regarding his plight who in turn sought the help of the DSWD Region 8. The matter was then endorsed to DSWD Region 1 that requested the NBI for immediate assistance.

Caceres said they will also file cases against the two recruiters based in Tacloban City. (With report from EFG)

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