Judge sentences man for attempted trafficking in Davao

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MANILA -- A first conviction for attempted trafficking in the Philippines was recorded less than a year after Congress gave more teeth to the campaign against the illegal trade.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Judge Salvador Ibaretta Jr. of the Davao City Regional Trial Court branch 8 convicted Frederick Apique of attempted qualified trafficking last December for abusing three minors early last year.

Apique will spend 15 years in prison and pay a fine of P500,000 and civil liability of P12,000.

Records showed Apique recruited the minors to distribute flyers in public areas in Davao. However, the minors said Apique forced them to let him shave their private parts and take nude photos of them.

“This conviction allows the State to hunt down human traffickers and get them off the streets, even by just proving the intention to commit to a particular and specific felony just by their overt acts,” said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Section 4-B of the Expanded Human Trafficking Act of 2013 (Republic Act 10364) states that attempted trafficking involves acts “to initiate the commission of a trafficking offense but the offender failed to or did not execute all elements of the crime, by accident or by reason of some cause other voluntary desistance.”

The law was enacted in February 2013.

Last year, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) said the government won 115 cases, 133 human traffickers were jailed and 289 victims were given justice.

De Lima chairs the IACAT. (Sunnex)

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