Ten mainly Russian women working as ‘bar girls’ at a Malate nightclub have been arrested for not having work or health permits.
The nine Russians and one Kazakh woman were arrested at Sha-Sha Club in Malate yesterday evening (Wednesday, August 29).
In a press conference today, Manila City Administrator Felixberto Espiritu said the local government ordered the Manila Police District-Special Mayor’s Reaction Team to raid the clubs in the area “after receiving intelligence reports that such establishments are being used for drugs and other criminalities”.
“Accidentally, when this club was inspected, they found out that many foreign nationals are working without permits and their visas still need to be coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to check the validity of their stay in the Philippines,” he said.
Citing that they are coordinating with the BI, Espiritu clarified that the police had not confiscated women’s passports.
“Posibleng (illegal) aliens sila kaya (It is possible that they are illegal aliens that’s why) we are coordinating with the immigration and the BI will be the one to coordinate with their respective embassies. The city will file charges in the city prosecutor’s office against them for working without permit,” he said.
Manila Police District chief, Brigadier General Vicente Danao, said they had been receiving reports about foreign nationals who may be overstaying or illegally staying in the city.
“Specifically, from ambassadors who visited Manila that they might have fellow citizens who are victims of human trafficking. That is one thing we will check aside from the violations during the actual apprehension,” he said.
He added charges for violation of Article H, Section 98 or Professional Occupation Tax and Article E, Section 138 or Health Certificate in connection of Section 199 in the 2013 Omnibus Revenue Code of the City of Manila are being prepared against the women.
Danao also said that the club “failed to comply with the necessary permits as provided for under the 2013 Omnibus Revenue Code of the City of Manila”.
This week’s arrests are not the first time that Russian women have been arrested for illegally working as “guest relation officers” in the Philippines.
In January 2018, we reported how 19 women were detained following a raid on Club Angel in Clark Field, Angeles City. Although police said they were caught “in flagrante”, the reason for their arrest was due to lack of paperwork rather than prostitution.
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