Two suspected pimps have been arrested after an entrapment operation that led to the rescue of 11 trafficking victims, including five children.
The police’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division used a “foreigner” posing as a client to arrest the pair, along with an accomplice, at a motel in Santa Cruz, Manila, on Sunday (October 8).
Edna Balmes Babao, also known as Shane, aged 43, and her live-in partner Clarence Aragona were arrested for offering children for sex in exchange for money. The third person arrested, Christian Gamba, was described as a “lookout”.
Of the victims rescued, eight were female and three male.
The operations followed a tip-off from Destiny Rescue International (DRI), a non-government organisation based in Thailand.
Foreigner was bait to catch pimps
Senior Superintendent Villamor Tuliao who led the operation confirmed that a foreign man had been used as “bait” to entrap the suspected pimps.
Police and DRI operatives pounced as the victims, including the children, were paraded before the apparent client inside a room at the motel.
After he had made his choice of which he supposedly wished to sexually abuse, he handed 8,000 pesos in marked notes to Babao.
One of the victims said he had been recruited by Babao, who also transported him to meet clients for which he was paid 1,000 pesos.
According to a television report on ABS-CBN [see below] the lobby of the motel featured signs that no minors are allowed inside.
Police are now investigating if staff of the motel were liable for allowing the children to enter. It is thought the venue had been used repeatedly by the suspects.
Babao and her cohorts will be charged with violation of the Anti Trafficking Act of 9208 and Republic Act 7610 or the Anti Child Abuse Law.