A bar girl working in the Walking Street red-light zone in Angeles City has been arrested on suspicion of prostitution.
The 32-year-old ‘guest relations officer’ at X Music Club was nabbed after an elaborate entrapment operation with the help of a Korean man.
Although Angeles City’s Barangay Balibago is known worldwide as a destination for sex tourism, prostitution in the Philippines is nonetheless illegal.
Despite this, Walking Street — Field’s Avenue — is famously unabashed about being a centre for the trade.
It is unknown why the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) decided to target the particular working girl, a native of Catbalogan, Western Samar, or that specific bar.
The operation, which was led by Superintendent Lito Patay, officer-in-charge of the CIDG Region 3, was launched shortly before midnight on Wednesday, November 16.
The Korean man, along with two CIDG agents posing as customers, agreed to ‘bar fine’ the woman, identified as Wela Batiancela, and paid 3,000 pesos. The notes had been previously been dusted with fluorescent compound.
The money was handed to a waitress and then passed on to the cashier.
At this point the CIDG agents gave a signal to other operatives waiting outside and Batiancela was arrested.
Charges for violation of Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code have now been filed against her at the City Prosecutor’s Office.
It is estimated that up to half a million women work in prostitution in the Philippines. Despite the high profile of red light districts such as Barangay Balibago, the vast majority of customers nationwide are Filipino.