The Philippine Coast Guard rescued here last Monday more than 50 victims of human trafficking about to board a commercial vessel bound for Sandakan in Sabah.
Lieutenant Commander Jesse Guiniling, chief of the Philippine Coast Guard Zamboanga District Station, said 56 women were about to board the MV Antonia 1 of the Aleson Shipping Lines last Monday night when composite units of anti-trafficking agencies rescued them in an operation.
Maria Socorro Rojas, the city social welfare officer, said personnel at the Overseas Passengers Assistance Center noticed signs that the women passengers were “being trafficked,” prompting them to alert the authorities.
Among the signs that alerted them to the possibility of trafficking were the absence of a contract or employment documents and the use of other person’s passports. The women, who came in groups, also said during the interview that they did not know they would pass Zamboanga City.