High salary lured us to dance in bar-A A +A
Saturday, September 28, 2013
RICA (real name withheld) went to Club Temptation and applied as a waitress, but the mama-san (pimp) told her to work as a dancer because she had the body and they were in need of one.
“I agreed because of the high salary,” said the 27-year-old single mother in her affidavit.
After giving birth to her daughter, the high school graduate worked in a mall and earned P375 per day. But she quit because her daily expenses swelled to P400 every day.
A fellow mall worker informed her about Club Temptation on D. Jakosalem, Cebu City.
Her basic pay was P250 and she would receive a commission of P40 if the customer orders a drink worth P100 or P80 and if the customer drinks P300 worth of liquor.
“We would also get P1,000 from the P2,000 that the customer would pay if they ‘kairo’ us,” she said.
“Kairo,” she said, is the term they use when a customer takes a dancer out for sex. It is a Japanese word, she said.
Rica was among the 19 victims of sex trafficking rescued by the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RAHTTF) 7 from Club Temptation last Saturday night. The
Pussycats bar on Gen. Maxilom Ave. was also raided.
Six alleged pimps and five bar owners were charged with violation of Republic Act (RA) 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons) as amended by RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons).
Rica’s affidavit and those of five other dancers did not state they were recruited to work as entertainers for the bar.
If they consented to the job, are they still considered victims of human trafficking?
Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Liceria Lofranco-Rabillas said taking advantage of the vulnerability of others is a means in committing human trafficking.
“They are still victims,” said Rabillas, who heads the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT)-Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) task force.
Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Maria Luisa Ratilla shared Rabillas’ views. She is the chief of IACAT’s seaports task force in Central Visayas.
“Whether the trafficked victim, who is an adult, gives consent or not is irrelevant under RA 9208,” she said.
Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane said human trafficking is committed when a woman is paid in exchange of sex.
“Ang establishment nga nag-maintain ana nga illegal activity mahimo pud liable,” he said.
Under RA 9208, one of the acts that promotes trafficking that is not allowed is “to knowingly lease or sublease, use or allow to be used any house, building or establishment for the purpose of promoting trafficking in persons.”
RA 9208 punishes any person who “recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, provides, or receives a person by any means, including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage.”
The law was amended through RA 10364, which does not give offenders confidentiality clause they enjoyed while RA 9208 was in effect. The amended version also gives people, who rescue trafficking victims, immunity from suits.
Another victim, Cristine (real name withheld), 19, said she came from General Santos
City. She arrived in Cebu City last December to look for work to support her family.
Her cousin, who worked in Club Temptation, helped her land a job in the bar.
Cristine told her cousin she was content with working as a waitress. But she was told the bar will not allow her to work as a waitress since she was “beautiful.”
“I no longer had a choice,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 28, 2013.