Two women face up to 15 years in prison after a court found them guilty of human trafficking involving three females, including two children, in Mandaue City five years ago.
Emily Fernandez and Theresa Grecia have been found guilty as charged for violating Republic Act 9208 (the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003).
The court also ordered the two to pay one million pesos in fines and damages to their victims.
The plea-bargaining agreement convicted Emaily Fernandez for being a recruiter, and for Theresa Grecia of owning the brothel in which the trafficking took place.
“Significantly, these convictions were achieved through a plea bargain, which is a legal strategy gaining more traction in Cebu. This is significant because plea-bargaining strengthens the Philippine justice system by increasing the speed of trafficking prosecutions, allowing the system to hold more traffickers accountable for their crimes,” said a lawyer involved in the case.
“Plea-bargaining provides victims with justice and closure quicker than a trial. Instead of waiting for years with the uncertainty that the accused will be held accountable, victims move forward with their healing process and on with their lives. It also eliminates the potential for victims to fall prey to the illegal-but unfortunately common-defense tactic of witness tampering.”
The two women in this case were arrested after the mother of one of the girls sought the assistance of Mandaue City Police after she found out her daughter was bound for Iloilo.
A copy of her photograph was distributed throughout Iloilo, she and two others were rescued in Iloilo and the two women were arrested.