BUGUIAS, Benguet – Five minors were recently rescued by combined police operatives from two bars beloieved to be used as prostitution dens in barangay Abatan here.
Senior Superintendent Rodolfo S. Azurin, Jr., director of the Benguet Provincial Police Office, said the five minors were found to be working in the Sagadanian’s Place Liquor and Videoke Bar managed by Debra W. Limmayog and at Lyn’s Videoke Bar managed by Chrislyn O Maddawit.
The police official said the minors were rescued pursuant to the Oplan Angel and Oplan Nena campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on order to spare minors from abuses and from being used as possible prostitutes in the night establishments operating in the different parts of the province.
“We have to intensify our operations provincewide in order to spare minors from being abused, especially those being forced to work in night establishments that usually make them prone to prostitution, which should not be the case,” Azurin stressed.
He said combined police operatives will continue to conduct surveillance operations on various night establishments doing business in the province in order to check their employees whether or not they are employing minors so that they will not be involved in abusing minors and women.
Earlier, joint police operatives and intelligence agents rescued some 22 minors, all of them females, from around eight night establishments in Abatan here which resulted to the fling of prostitution charges against the owners of the night spots.
Several bar owners where the minors were rescued were subsequently charged for prostitution which is now pending before the local courts.
Abatan is considered the fastest growing barangay of the municipality because it is located along the Halsema highway and serves as a gateway to other Benguet and Mountain Province.
Azurin said the rescued minors were turned over to the Cordillera office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for proper disposition while the nec3ssary cases to be filed against the owners of the bars where they were rescued are now being evaluated and assessed to determine if their gathered pieces of evidence will stand in court.
The operating government forces included personnel from the Buguias municipal station, Benguet Provincial Public Safety Company, Benguet Provincial Police Office, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – Northern and Central Luzon Unit and social workers from the DSWD-CAR.
The police official assured the continuous conduct of surprise operations on bars in the municipality in order to spare minors from being used as alleged prostitutes by erring bar owners and to significantly reduce the proliferation of prostitution in the locality.
By Dexter A. See