Swiss facing human trafficking raps in Cebu jumps to his death
CEBU CITY, Philippines—A Swiss national facing charges of human trafficking was killed on Tuesday afternoon after he jumped off a vessel, about 900 meters from the port of Sta. Fe town on Bantayan Island, northern Cebu.
Walter Hauck, in his 60s, hit his head on the portion of the ship before falling into the water, said Cebu Coast Guard Station Commander Agapito Bibat.
Jail Officer 1 Efren Manzanares, who was Hauck’s escort, dove into the water to look for the foreigner. It took him 25 minutes to find Hauck who was brought to the Bantayan District Hospital where the foreigner was declared dead on arrival.
Hauck had been detained at the Bantayan District Jail since last year, according to Insp. Manuel dela Peña, Bantayan district jail warden.
There are three towns on Bantayan Island – Bantayan, Sta. Fe and Madridejos.
But Hauck was arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas in his beach house in Sta. Fe town last December 2014 for allegedly molesting five boys aged 12, 13, 14 and 17.
He was charged for violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and Anti-Child Pornography Act.
When he learned that he was charged after his arrest, he was quoted as saying “I don’t know much about your legal system here… I will die.”
On Tuesday morning, Hauck was taken out of detention to attend the court hearing for the case of human trafficking, which was pending at a local court in Bogo City.
He was with another detainee, Ricky Desabille, who was facing a separate case at the Bogo Regional Trial Court.
Hauck and Desabille were handcuffed together as they were brought to Hagnaya port in San Remegio town from Bogo to take LCT Island II that would take them back to Bantayan.
Bibat said that based on the report of their detachment in Sta. Fe, Manzanares took off Hauck’s handcuff about 2:50 p.m. after the foreigner asked permission to go to the toilet to urinate while the vessel was approaching the port of Sta. Fe.
But instead of going to the toilet, the foreigner rushed to the tail end of the vessel and jumped into the sea.
Bibat said a crew of the vessel also saw that Hauck’s head slammed into a portion of the vessel before hitting the water.
Manzanares asked the ship’s s crew to stop the vessel and rescue the Swiss.
Dela Peña said Manzanares jumped into the water to search for Hauck. He found Hauck’s body at 3:15 p.m.
When the vessel docked at 3:30 p.m., Hauck was immediately brought to Bantayan District Hospital in Bantayan town but was proclaimed dead on arrival by attending physician Dr Delfin Jake Malazarte.
Dela Peña said he ordered an investigation on why Manzanares unlocked the handcuff of Hauck when regulation did not allow it. TVJ
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