ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Sixteen women who were victims of human trafficking were rescued in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on Sunday.
The women were on board M/V Kristel Jane 3 that was docked at the port of Bongao and was set to leave for Malaysia.
Naval intelligence operatives and troopers from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 received information about the women and intercepted the boat, according to Rear Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr., chief of the Naval Force Western Mindanao.
Adaci said the victims – who came from various areas in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao – were brought to Zamboanga City before they were taken to Tawi-Tawi.
“From Tawi-Tawi, the victims were supposed to be taken to other countries through Malaysia,” Adaci said.
Twelve of the women were supposed to be brought to Lebanon to work as domestic helpers while the rest would remain in Malaysia.
The victims will be turned over to the provincial social welfare and development office.
The raiding team failed to arrest the victims’ recruiter.