CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Charges have already been filed against two Chinese nationals suspected of employing the services of female minors inside a hotel here on Sunday, the National Bureau of Investigation-10 (NBI-10) said Wednesday.
NBI-10 regional director Patricio Bernales Jr. said the foreigners will be facing cases of child abuse and trafficking in persons for allegedly being with 10 females, six of them minors, inside the hotel, once the City Prosecutors Office will issue its resolution.
Bernales said a joint team of NBI-10 and the Regulatory and Complaint Board (RCB) raided two rooms of a hotel where the Chinese and the girls were found.
The bureau identified the foreigners as Shen Zhi Qiang and Li Qi, both in their early 20s, from mainland China.
Based on documents, Bernales said Shen and Li are tourists and are staying at the same hotel where the incident happened.
The suspected pimps were identified as Joseph Uy and Janry Avelino.
Bernales said the alleged pimps have claimed they were also minors but the NBI-10 was validating their actual age at the Philippines Statistics Authority.
The regional director said the raiding team did not catch the suspects in the act, only that they were caught inside the rooms together with the females.
Authorities were able to communicate with the suspects since one of them can speak English.
“No need for the suspects to cooperate (with the NBI) as we will file the cases against them,” Bernales said.
He said NBI-10 has also gotten in touch with the Bureau of Immigration in Cagayan de Oro to ascertain the status of the foreigners and the Chinese Embassy in Manila.
Meanwhile, the young women are undergoing counseling at a city government-run facility here, said assistant city social welfare and development officer Nida Paña on Wednesday.
She said a psychosocial intervention is needed as a City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) protocol for rescued victims.
From what the CSWDO has gathered, the girls were in the hotel for five days before they were rescued.
Paña said two of the victims had already been rescued by authorities in a raid in an inn last year.
Both Bernales and Paña have agreed that operators of hotels and inns who are accepting female minors into their establishments must be held accountable as well.
As of this writing, the alleged pimps and the Chinese nationals refused to give statement to the media while in custody at the NBI-10 regional office here. (davaotoday.com)