ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 25 Government forces have rescued 15 victims of human trafficking on two separate operations in Tawi-Tawi, police reported Friday.
Eight of the 15 were rescued Wednesday while the remaining seven, including one minor, were rescued on Thursday, police said.
Police said the victims were rescued while they were about to be transported out of the country, most likely to Malaysia, from the municipality of Bongao, the provincial capital.
Some of the victims are from Zamboanga City and nearby provinces in the region and as well as from the Visayas and Luzon, police said.
The victims were turned over to the Visayan Forum Foundation for proper disposition.
The VFF is a non-stock, non-profit organization that works for the protection of vulnerable migrants, including victims of human trafficking, forced labor, and other modern-day forms of slavery.
The victims were rescued by the combined forces of the Tawi-Tawi Police Provincial Anti-Trafficking Task Group and the Bongao Inter-Agency Task Forces Against Trafficking.
Meanwhile, Vice President Jejomar Binay, who sits as the Chairman Emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, lauded the successful rescue of the victims.
Binay said the latest operations showed the governments commitment to curb human trafficking in the country.
Binay said human trafficking syndicates were using the Bongao seaport to facilitate the transportation of the victims to foreign destinations. (PNA) hbc/TPG/utb