Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/12/05MANILA6039.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA6039
2005-12-29 09:40
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO8777
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #6039/01 3630940
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 290940Z DEC 05
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8352
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2395
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 006039

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, G/TIP, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP
DEPT ALSO FOR EAP/PD, INL, DRL/IL, DRL/CRA
DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS USAID FOR ANE/TS – L. SAULS
LABOR FOR ILAB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KWMN ELAB KCRM RP
SUBJECT: TIP: TWO MORE TRAFFICKERS SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT UNDER ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAW

REF: A. MANILA 5781
¶B. MANILA 5710
¶C. MANILA 5633
¶D. MANILA 5373
¶E. MANILA 5326
¶F. MANILA 4984

¶1. (U) Summary: On December 27, a court in Metro Manila
sentenced a husband and wife to life imprisonment for
peddling victims — including some minors — into sexual
servitude. A top GRP prosecutor (and former IVP grantee)
spearheaded the government’s legal team that netted the
convictions. The latest convictions — the third and
fourth under the GRP’s anti-trafficking law — are a
welcome development, but more progress is needed on the
prosecutorial front. End Summary.

==============================
TIP Convictions in Quezon City
==============================

¶2. (U) On December 27, the 86th Regional Trial Court in
Quezon City, Metro Manila, sentenced a husband and wife to
four terms of life imprisonment and fined them 8 million
pesos (roughly USD 150,000) for violating the Philippines’
2003 anti-trafficking law (Republic Act 9208). The trial
judge signed the decision on December 8, but it was only
officially promulgated on December 27 (it is not clear why
the official notification of the decision was delayed).
The court also ordered the accused to pay 50,000 pesos
(about USD 940) for “moral and exemplary damages plus court
costs” to each of the four complainants in the case. The
judge found the couple guilty on four counts of “qualified”
trafficking under R.A. 9208, each of which carries a
sentence of life imprisonment. (Note: Under R.A. 9208,
cases involving criminal syndicates or the trafficking of
minors are categorized as “qualified trafficking,” which
carries a stiffer penalty. End Note.) The two convicted
traffickers are planning to appeal.

¶3. (U) According to the court’s December 8 ruling, the
husband and wife team (both Filipino nationals) recruited
25 women — including at least three minors — in Cebu in
the Visayan region of the central Philippines with promises
of acting jobs in Manila. Once the victims were in the
custody of the accused, they were repeatedly peddled to
high-paying customers for sexual services between November
2002 and January 2004. On January 8, 2004, agents of the
GRP’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Violence
Against Women and Children Division arrested the couple in
a sting operation at a Quezon City hotel where the
traffickers delivered several girls to agents posing as
“johns.” The NBI treated the adult prostitutes picked up
in the operation as victims and did not charge them with
any crimes. Officials also turned the minors involved over
to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and
Development for rehabilitation and counseling.

======================
A Committed Prosecutor
======================

¶4. (U) Senior State Prosecutor Lilian Alejo flagged this
case (then in the immediate pre-verdict stage) as a
promising example of the progress the GRP was making in
going after traffickers during a December 6 meeting with
G/TIP Director Ambassador John R. Miller in Manila. Alejo,
who filed the case in January 2004 (the first prosecution
brought under R.A. 9208), has been a leader within the
Philippine government in implementing the anti-trafficking
law. She was an International Visitor Program (IVP)
grantee in 2005 under the program, “Combating International
Crime Through Global Cooperation.” Alejo has also trained
other prosecutors and police in how to pursue TIP cases as
part of a USG-funded project (ref F).

===============================
Comment: A Welcome Development
===============================

¶5. (U) The Quezon City convictions are a welcome

MANILA 00006039 002 OF 002

development, but more progress is needed on the
prosecutorial front. These latest convictions come less
than a month after the first major convictions under the
2003 anti-trafficking law (ref b). Chief State Prosecutor
Severino Gana told poloff on December 27 that he believes
the increased resources the GRP has newly devoted to
prosecuting TIP cases are starting to pay off. Gana and
other officials predict that additional convictions will
take place in the first quarter of 2006.

JONES

   

 

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