Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/11/09MANILA2425.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA2425
2009-11-20 06:13
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO3475
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2425/01 3240613
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200613Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5840
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002425

SIPDIS
STATE FOR EAP/RSP AND G/TIP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTIP PHUM ELAB KWMN KCRM RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINES TIP INTERIM ASSESSMENT

REF: A. STATE 111958 (INSTRUCTIONS FOR INTERIM ASSESSMENT)
¶B. MANILA 2272 (PHILIPPINES’ FIRST TIP CONVICTION OF A PUBLIC
OFFICIAL)

¶1. SUMMARY: In response to the Ref A request, this message provides
information on the Philippines for the Interim Assessment of the
Special Watch List countries. There were three new TIP convictions,
and Philippine government agencies are taking actions to stem the
numbers of people being trafficked for labor. Some law enforcement
agencies are becoming more aggressive in pursuing TIP cases. The
Bureau of Immigration is implementing a new initiative to inform
international travelers of the risks of engaging in unlawful
behavior, including TIP. Resource shortages continue to hamper the
government’s ability to train its officials, and the Philippine
Congress did not allocate funding to the Inter-Agency Council
Against Trafficking in the most recent budget cycle. Nonetheless,
government actors overall are showing new, concerted efforts to
fight human trafficking. END SUMMARY.

THREE NEW TIP CONVICTIONS
————————-

¶2. Philippine prosecutors and NGO lawyers are making progress in
prosecuting human traffickers, as highlighted by two recent court
verdicts convicting three individuals of human trafficking. A
Manila Regional Trial Court on September 30 convicted former police
officer Dennis Reci and his accomplice for trafficking minors in
2005 (Ref B). This conviction is the first known conviction of a
public official for a TIP-related offense in the Philippines. On
October 29, a trafficker was convicted and sentenced to over 30
years in prison for three counts of sexual abuse and violation of
the anti-TIP law for recruiting minors for commercial sex. The
convictions in these two cases were a result of cases filed and
prosecuted by NGO International Justice Mission (IJM) on behalf of
the victims.

SEEKING PROSECUTIONS, ADDRESSING LABOR TIP
——————————————

¶3. Philippine authorities continue to pursue human traffickers under
anti-TIP and related laws. From January to July, the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) investigated 140 new alleged
trafficking cases, of which 48 were recommended for prosecution.
From January to October, the Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration (POEA) filed 154 administrative cases against
licensed labor recruiters and began investigations into their
allegedly deceptive practices. In June, the Department of Justice
implemented a new interagency case tracking system that will provide
more complete data on nationwide anti-trafficking prosecutions. To
address labor trafficking, the Bureau of Immigration at the Manila
and Clark international airports in the first 10 months of the year
offloaded 7,880 passengers who were not properly documented and
believed to be at risk for illegal recruitment and trafficking.
This figure represents a nine-fold increase from full-year 2008
off-loading data.

LAW ENFORCEMENT BECOMING MORE AGGRESSIVE
—————————————-

¶4. Investigators at the Philippine Bureau of Immigration are
increasingly cooperative with U.S. law enforcement agencies on
transnational human trafficking investigations. Other segments of
the Philippine law enforcement community are showing an improved
capability to act independently on intelligence to catch human
traffickers. IJM Cebu reported three successful operations by
police agencies in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu Lapu near Cebu
City during the month of October.

— An October 10 entrapment operation at a Mandaue City karaoke
parlor by the Regional Anti-Trafficking Task Force (RAT-F) of the
Police Regional Office (PRO 7) led to the rescue of 25 women,
including at least six confirmed minors. The Mandaue City
prosecutor’s office filed trafficking charges against six
perpetrators, including two Korean nationals. A pre-trial hearing
is scheduled for February 9. The minors are now under the custody
of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

— An October 23 police operation against a Lapu Lapu City karaoke
establishment resulted in the arrest of five perpetrators and the
rescue of 25 women and girls, including six confirmed minors. On
October 26, the RAT-F filed a qualified trafficking in persons case
against the perpetrators before the Lapu Lapu City Prosecutor’s
Office. The minors are now under the custody of DSWD.

— Following a successful October 27 entrapment operation against a
female pimp, four adult females and five minors who were sold to
customers in Mandaue City — including the pimp’s own daughter —
are now under the care of DSWD. The case is being assigned to a
Regional Trial Court. The minors are now under the custody of
DSWD.

NEW AND ONGOING ANTI-TIP AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS

MANILA 00002425 002 OF 002

——————————————–

¶5. In order to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in the
Philippines, and in response to the urging of a U.S.-funded NGO, the
Bureau of Immigration in June 2009 introduced a warning message
against human trafficking, abuse and exploitation of women and
children, and drug trafficking in airport immigration
arrival/departure forms used by thousands of international
passengers everyday. The POEA conducted Anti-Illegal Recruitment
and Trafficking in Persons campaign seminars in seven cities with
more than a thousand participants from local governments, media, and
civil society groups.

RESOURCE SHORTAGES AFFECT TRAINING
———————————-

¶6. The Philippines continues to encourage its law enforcement
officials to attend anti-TIP training programs. With the
government’s own resources severely limited, it relied on training
provided by U.S. government agencies, other foreign donors, and
internationally-funded NGOs such as IJM and the Visayan Forum
Foundation to educate Philippine law enforcement officers and
prosecutors. Since January 2009, IJM has trained approximately 575
police officers on investigation techniques and the use of the
anti-trafficking law. During the same period, it also trained 62
labor inspectors and sheriffs nationwide on the effective
enforcement of the 2003 law. The Philippine government did not
allocate an FY2010 budget for the Inter-Agency Council Against
Trafficking (IACAT), which continues to rely heavily on funding from
foreign governments and donations from Philippine non-governmental
organizations and corporations.

KENNEY

   

 

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