2 bars that were raided will continue operating-A A +A
Thursday, September 26, 2013
THERE is no basis to close the two bars in Cebu City that were raided last Saturday night.
This was what Mayor Michael Rama and officials of the Cebu City Police Office, Cebu City Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (CCIACAT), Cebu City Anti-Indecency Board (Caib) and the Liquor Licensing Commission arrived at last Wednesday.
“Number one, there were no minors and there was no nudity. They also have the permits.
We cannot close them,” Rama told reporters in a press conference yesterday while he took a break from the Regional Development Council 7 full council meeting.
On record, Club Temptation, located on Jakosalem St., and Pussycat Clubland, located on Gen. Maxilom Ave., do not have business permits for this year. But Rama said both establishments paid their taxes this year.
Club Temptation was given a temporary permit that expired last April.
City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete said the establishments may still need to submit requirements to the City Treasurer’s Office to explain why these don’t official business permits.
Rama, though, said this is not a guarantee that Club Temptation and Pussycat Clubland are off the hook.
The City can still inspect both bars.
“It doesn’t mean that it’s the final position of the City,” said Rama, noting that as of yesterday there was no basis to issue a closure order.
Rama directed the City Legal Office to look into the matter and to determine the bars’ legal ramifications.
The meeting last Wednesday was also a signal that the CCIACAT was convened.
Councilors Lea Japson and Dave Tumulak were there.
Tumulak is Rama’s representative to CCIACAT meetings and will preside over future meetings. Japson is the vice chairperson as the City Council’s chairperson of the committee on women.
Japson returned the composition of CCIACAT because Rama, as mayor, should have been the chairperson and there was no provision in the ordinance that he could send a representative.
But Rama said he has only one body and it is his prerogative to appoint a representative.
Since 2008, Japson has presided over the meetings as vice chairperson. This will be the first time another official will be presiding.
Japson also questioned the participation of Caib in the meeting.
Rama said bars like Club Temptation and Pussycat Clubland may involve indecent shows, which was hinted in the affidavits filed by the women purportedly rescued from the two bars.
In Mandaue City, Frank Guillena, community affairs officer of the City Legal Office, urged barangays to closely monitor entertainment bars and report to authorities any signs of sex trafficking.
Guillena said barangay officials and tanods should take the lead in making sure entertainment bars in their areas do not exploit women and minors.
Last Sept. 13, the City Legal Office padlocked a bar on A.C. Cortes Ave. in Baragay Guizo for operating without a business permit and for violating a City ordinance against human trafficking.
The International Justice Mission, which requested the City to shut down Sunrise Angels KTV Bar, submitted affidavits of sex workers rescued from the bar.
Last March, an anti-trafficking task force rescued 11 sex workers, ages 19 to 30, from the bar and arrested the bar’s cashier and manager.
A minor was also rescued from an adjacent bar last May, but the City has yet to close the establishment.
Before issuing or renewing a bar’s business permit, Guillena said the City inspects the establishment and interviews the employees to make sure it’s not engaged in trafficking.
“Barangay officials play a big role. They should do surveillance and report suspicious activities,” he said in a news conference at Mandaue City Hall yesterday morning.
Pureza Tabuac of the City Social Welfare Services (CSWS) Office said more than 50 trafficking survivors in Mandaue now undergo group counseling.
The CSWS runs a center where survivors attend therapy sessions and livelihood trainings.
The center, built with the IJM, aims to help survivors reintegrate into their communities.
“We also conduct sessions on values formation, self-awareness among others for their personal development,” Tabuac said.
The survivors also receive cash assistance from the Department of Justice. Some receive free technical education from the Paglaum Training Institute.
Tabuac said social workers also visit the families of the survivors. “We assess the family before we return the survivors to the community,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 27, 2013.