GOVERNMENT authorities apprehended an American operating a nightclub, which fronts for prostitution, and rescued 16 women in Angeles City, Pampanga.
According to the Department of Justice- Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (Iacat), the intensified campaign of the government against human trafficking has caused the arrest of Jonathan Westlie Kelly.
Elements from the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Desk, Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (PNP-WCPD-RIDMD3), Philippine National Police Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Special Operation Group 3 (PNP-RAHTSOG3), Regional Public Safety Company Battalion 3 (RPSB3) carried out the operation. Officials from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the International Justice Mission (IJM) joined the raiding party.
They raided the club in the evening of May 22 owned by Kelly. Also arrested were suspected pimps Cherry Datu and Carlota Dela Rosa, and four waiters.
Iacat filed cases against the suspects for violation of RA 9208 (“Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”) as amended by RA 10364 (“Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012”) and RA 7610 (“Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”).
Acting on the intelligence reports from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Region 3 (NICA3), the composite team headed by Police Supt. Jacqueline Puapo, conducted surveillance operations which confirmed that the Eager Beavers Club at Fields Avenue, Balibago, Angeles was offering minors for sex to patrons.
Kelly was identified by the rescued women as the “Australian” owner of the club but the business permit shows it is registered under another name. They team also recommended preliminary investigation and filing of cases against four other persons yet to be arrested, including another foreigner.
Two of the victims were confirmed minors. According to the sworn statements of the victims, they were being offered for sex in exchange for P2,000 “bar fine.” All of the rescued victims said they were underpaid, between P130 to P160 a day.