Press Release
May 30, 2023

Poe: Lax enforcement paves way for human trafficking in PH

Sen. Grace Poe called out concerned agencies for their lax enforcement of laws that allows the proliferation of human trafficking in cyber scam hubs in the country.

"It's clear that kung walang nagpapalusot, walang lulusot. So, the problem really is enforcement. It will not be this grave if our government officials were just really doing their jobs," Poe said on Tuesday's Senate committee hearing on Senate Resolution No. 595, which she earlier filed.

The measure seeks an investigation into the alleged human trafficking and cyber fraud operations of a marketing firm in Pampanga's Clark Sun Valley hub.

Over a thousand employees, composed of Filipinos and foreigners, were rescued from the supposed trafficking and fraudulent operations.

Poe, who heads the committee on public services, pointed out that scores of trafficking victims have also been rescued from various operations in the past.

Despite this, she stressed that syndicates and their local cohorts have become more brazen and bolder victimizing more individuals.

"The problem persists and our borders have remained porous. No thanks to the lax enforcement of the government agencies in charge," Poe said.

She said there is a need to "also investigate the background and track record of the ones that are heading these agencies."

"Halimbawa, nahuli na natin itong sindikatong ito, pero pare-pareho pa rin ang nagpapatakbo ng ahensya ng gobyerno na hindi natin sigurado ang kredibilidad. Paulit-ulit na mangyayari ito," Poe said.

"We may have individuals we are concentrating on in the private sector, but then in the government sector, pare-pareho lang, nire-recycle lang, iba't-ibang posisyon, kung hind dito magsasabog ng lagim, doon naman sa kabila. My point is to also investigate the government agencies and their heads that are in charge of these different operations," Poe added.

In her resolution, she pressed the Bureau of Immigration to explain the presence of the rescued foreign workers in the Philippines and determine the kind of visas they have.

She also called on the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and the Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Trafficking to step up their operations against possible enclaves of human trafficking in the country.

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