27 Filipino Girls Rescued from Sex Trafficking

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is warning Filipinos seeking jobs abroad against sex trafficking syndicates using social media such as Facebook and twitter to offer work in Malaysia, Singapore, and other Job countries.

The DFA issued the warning after the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur deported 27 Filipinos (women) on Wednesday, who were earlier rescued from a sex trafficking syndicate operating in Malaysia, Johor Bahru which is just 1 hour away from Singapore.

Think Twice before applying for Jobs on Social Media:
The Secretary to Foreign Affairs and a Politician Alan Peter S. Cayetano said:
“There are numerous cases of Filipino jobseekers who apply for these online job offers but end up in virtual bondage in a number of countries abroad.

He more added: “We urge our kababayan to think twice before applying for the various job opportunities abroad that are being offered online,”

The Secretary said Filipinos who want to work abroad should first check job offers with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) or the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) before applying for them.

Secretary Cayetano, Ambassador Charles C. Jose said he directed Police Attaché Senior Supt. Dario Gunabe to request the assistance of the Royal Malaysian Police as soon as the Embassy learned of the situation of the 27 women from Philippine.

Ambassador Jose said Malaysian police immediately responded and raided the apartment where the women were staying in Johor Baru, located with the distance of 1 hour from Singapore.

Victims Interview:
In interviews conducted by the Embassy representatives and the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC), the victims said they were trafficked to Malaysia and Singapore in four batches between June and July.

Hired as a Sale Promoters:
According to the women, they were recruited in the Philippines to be so-called “promoters” selling liquor to customers in four establishments in Singapore.

They said they did this on a commission basis but were made to do sexual services.

“The women were mostly recruited through Facebook ads and contacted through whatsApp for work in Singapore but were told that they will enter and exit the country from Malaysia but were there only on tourist visas,” Ambassador Jose added.

The envoy reminded Filipinos wishing to work outside the country to be wary of job offers from recruiters who will have them enter the country as tourists but with the promise of securing work visas for them upon arrival.

About DFA?
The DFA Philippines (Department of Foreign Affairs) is the executive department of the Philippine government tasked to contribute to the enhancement of national security and the protection of the territorial integrity and national sovereignty, to participate in the national endeavor of sustaining development and enhancing the Philippines’ competitive edge, to protect the rights and promote the welfare of Filipinos overseas and to mobilize them as partners in national development, to project a positive image of the Philippines, and to increase international understanding of Philippine culture for mutually-beneficial relations with other countries.

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