The Armed Forces of the Philippines through the Naval Forces Western Mindanao augmented by troops from the Philippine Army and Philippine Air Force rescued 184 victims of human trafficking Monday night some five nautical miles or seven kilometers off Barangay Ayala, Zamboanga City.Â
Lieutenant Colonel Erwin A Alea (GSC) Philippine Army, Group Commander of the 4th Civil Relations Group, Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines disclosed that a Navy patrol intercepted the motor launch heading off towards the direction of Sabah, Malaysia transporting the undocumented victims mostly women.
â€śThe success of the operation was a vivid indication on how your Armed Forces especially our Philippine Navy in keeping its mandate in protecting not only our maritime resources but also in ensuring that rights of every Filipino will not be abused or violated.â€ť said Alea.
He further added that this is a clear violation of Republic Act 9208 or commonly known as Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. The AFP will not tolerate such illegal activities since the AFPâ€™s Internal Peace and Security Plan â€śBayanihanâ€ť gives primacy to human rights, hence, every soldier is committed to look out for the welfare of the civilians.
Meanwhile, the rescued victims of the human trafficking along with the 19 crewmen of the motor launch were brought to Majini Pier in Naval Forces Western Mindanao for investigation by the proper authorities. Â