MANILA, Philippines—Immigration officers at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga have intercepted five Filipino women who were bound for South Korea and who were apparently victims of human trafficking.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. disclosed that the women were intercepted last week as they were about to board a Cebu Pacific flight to Macau.
But when interviewed, the women reportedly admitted that their final destination was Incheon, South Korea where they were hired to work as nightclub entertainers, David said in a statement.
The women’s names were not divulged as the persons in trafficking act has prohibited the public disclosure of human traffickers and their victims, the BI said.
The passengers were barred from leaving as they did not have the necessary overseas employment permits from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Meanwhile, David said the immigration officer who initially cleared the women for departure has been placed under investigation and was relieved of his post.
He, however, declined to name the BI employee pending the filing of administrative and criminal charges against him.
According to lawyer Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI acting intelligence chief, the passengers identified a certain “Mommy” as the one who briefed them about their trip at a gas station in Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga.
One of the women allegedly handed “Mommy” the amount of P25,000 before they were taken to Clark and instructed to queue at the immigration counter manned by the BI employee under investigation.
Mangrobang said the passengers, who pretended to be tourists vacationing in Macau, also presented fake company identification cards.