It’s not only girls who are prostituted but gays as well

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

IT IS not only young women who are being trafficked for sex, but gays too, a police official said.

“Human trafficking doesn’t only apply to women. Anybody can be a victim,” said Insp. Sheryl Bautista, deputy chief of Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RAHTTF) Central Visayas.

One of the 11 persons who were rescued by authorities during an entrapment in a mall in Mandaue City last Friday was gay. He was 16-year-old.


“They also produce gays depending on the clients’ request,” Bautista said during a
press briefing yesterday.

She said they have rescued gay victims. While the cases are minimal compared to those of women, this shows there is a market for them in the flesh trade, she said.

Since RAHTTF started their operations five years ago, they have saved 582 victims, 62 of whom were minors. Some 105 suspected human traffickers have been arrested.

The victims rescued in last Friday’s operation are in the custody of Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWD) 7.

When interviewed by police, the minors said they didn’t expect to be sold.

“They thought they would just meet the foreigners and dine with them,” Bautista said.

Four of them were minors, including the gay victim, while the oldest was 24. The victims will undergo counseling and evaluation under DSWD 7.

Bautista said the victims were recruited through their neighbors. Most of them knew where they were going, but they are still considered victims, she said.

Peer influence and lack of material possessions were some of the reasons the victims cited in agreeing to meet foreigners.

Bautista said parents should monitor the activities of their children and know their friends.

“They should be always aware of their whereabouts, especially if they go out during nighttime,” she said.

With the arrest of a suspected pimp last Friday, Bautista said they are monitoring other suspects who are also recruiting women and children for commercial sex.

She said that on Valentine’s Day, they will be more alert for couples entering motels, hotels or pension houses since some of these could be victims of prostitution.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 11, 2014.

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