The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) lauded the decision of the Makati Regional Trial Court against a pimp for peddling three (3) females, including a minor, to foreigners. Annaliza D. Quebec was meted the maximum penalty, life imprisonment and a fine of two million pesos (Php 2,000,000), for large scale human trafficking.
Judge Cristina F. Javalera-Sulit found Quebec guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 6(c) of RA 9208 (large scale qualified trafficking). Large scale trafficking is deemed committed if committed against three or more persons, individually or as a group.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Chairperson of IACAT, said the decision should serve as a very stern warning for offenders (pimps) preying on the vulnerabilities of women and children to earn a living.
"Human trafficking violators shall be meted out with the severest penalties under the law so they would serve as examples of not what to follow, and also send message to syndicates that the government is serious in its' campaign against human trafficking in all its forms," de Lima exclaimed.
Quebec was apprehended after an entrapment operation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) following a complaint filed against her for peddling young women to expats and tourists who frequent Burgos St., an area in Makati known for its night clubs and other shady establishments.
Noteworthy to this case, De Lima said, is the partnership between the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Homeland Security Department of the United States and our local law enforcement units. An ICE agent was actually tapped to act as a person seeking Quebec's assistance.
Quebec was caught in flagrante delicto for prostituting three women to an operative posing as a client. Later on, the NBI was able to determine that one of the trafficked victims was actually a senior high school student.
"This achievement would not have been possible without the collaboration between the member-agencies of IACAT and our foreign partners," De Lima said.