Almost a dozen women, all non- Baguio natives, were rescued from two prostitution dens masquerading as massage parlors along Magsaysay Avenue here Wednesday evening. National Bureau of Investigation-Cordillera (NBICAR) agents led by their Assistant Regional Director
lawyer Joel Tovera with social workers from the Baguio City Social Welfare and Development Office
(OCSWDO) and representatives of international anti-trafficking NGO Exodus Road-Philippines swooped down on two massage parlors at the Old Market Building along Upper Magsaysay Avenue
barangay, just a stone-throw from a police sub-station, past 9PM Wednesday and discovered eleven women holed in the cramped dimly-lit second floor of the building.

At least five, two women and three men, said to be employees of the massage parlors cum sex dens, were taken by NBI agents for questioning and human trafficking raps. Unused condoms were even discovered at one of the massage parlor ’s cashier ’s booth that confirmed the establishments offered more than massage at their plywood partitioned booths at the building’s mezzanine floors.

NBI-CAR Regional Director, Lawyer Janet M. Francisco said, Wednesday night’s “discovery” was a
telling sign of the still prevalent problem of trafficking of women which government should end.
“There will be no let-up in the collaboration of the NBI with other stakeholders in the public
and private sector in running after exploitative businesses especially those enslaving women and children,” she vowed.

While Exodus Road- Philippines Executive Director Buddy Bartido emphasized, “the fight against the darkness of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women, men, and children is a massive one and seems never ending.” But with law enforcement agencies like the NBI Cordillera headed by Regional Director Janet Francisco, this is an advocacy worth fighting for, he reiterated.

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

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