TWO alleged human traffickers were arrested inside a hotel in Purok Ube, Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City last Saturday night.
Supt. Mark Gifter Sucalit, City Intelligence Branch (CIB) chief, identified the suspects as Mara Perez Pilapil, 45, and her sister Kathleen, 38.
The suspects’ income from sex trafficking put food on their table and allegedly enabled them to continue their illegal drug use. They also allegedly operated in the cities of Mandaue and Cebu.
Three women aged 20, 22, and 24 were rescued by the police and turned over to the social welfare office.
Sucalit said that the suspects and victims are neighbors in Barangay Calamba, Cebu City.
“Most of the suspects’ customers are foreigners,” Sucalit said in a phone interview.
An informant tipped the police about the suspects’ illegal activity. Sucalit said they conducted surveillance for two weeks with the help of a Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 team led by Chief Insp. Hector Amancia.
Sucalit said they learned that the suspects pimped adult women and minors. They charged a customer P5,000.
The informant who met the Pilapils in a gasoline station gave their contact number to the police.
During the entrapment led by Lapu-Lapu City Police Station 3 Chief Joey Bicoy, an undercover officer contacted the suspects and pretended he had a foreigner friend who wanted to pay for sex.
Operatives caught the suspects after they got P15,000, although the bundle included plain paper.
A cell phone with contacts of their regular customers was seized from them.
The units involved in the operation were CIB, CIDG 7, Lapu-Lapu Police Station 3, the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime Visayas Field Unit and Women and Children’s Protection Desk.
The Pilapils will face complaints for violating Republic Act (RA) 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons) as amended by RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons), RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Law), and RA 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act). These are non-bailable offenses. (KAL)