THE Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) in Bacolod City is facilitating the return to their families of the 17 minors rescued in a police operation at a fake cigarette factory in Barangay Bata last Friday.
Pacita Tero, head of DSSD, said Sunday, August 27, the minors are still in their custody and they are preparing to send them back to Escalante City, Negros Occidental or to Mindanao.
She said most of the rescued minors are siblings who are from Iligan City in Lanao del Norte.
“Some of them have relatives in Escalante City and they want to be turned over there,” Tero added.
On Friday, the operatives of Bacolod City Police Office and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group confiscated several boxes and sacks of fake cigarettes in a factory at Purok Riverside, Barangay Bata, where the minors are employed.
READ: Fake cigarettes, ‘marijuana’ seized in Bacolod
Tero said the minors were recruited in June to install antennas in Bacolod, but when they arrived they were assigned to repack the cigarettes in the factory.
The building was formerly owned by a sugar manufacturer who sold it to a businessman, who leased out the space. The businessman did not know the illegal activity in the factory.
The building is now rented by a certain “Jimmy” who illegally employs 41 workers, including 17 minors.
Councilor Caesar Distrito lauded the accomplishment of the city police.
“This is the result, if our police force will be aggressive in their anti-crime effort. Arrest wanted criminals and be more visible,” Distrito said.
The councilor said crime happens in the streets and other places so the police presence will definitely solve many of these incidents.
The City Council had earlier urged the Bacolod police to double their effort in stopping robbery incidents, which increased by 54.65 percent from January to July this year.