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Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima lauded the country’s anti-human trafficking team for making the country among the leaders in the region in combatting the menace of modern day slavery.
The Philippines has retained its Tier 2 ranking in the 2014 Global Trafficking in Persons (GTIP) Report issued by the United States’ Department of State Secretary John F. Kerry last Friday June 20, 2014. Tier 2 countries are those which do not fully comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), but are making significant efforts to do so.

The government has scored another conviction in the long drawn battle against human trafficking bringing to 8 the number of conviction for the first 5 months of the year 2014.

Manila Regional Trial Court (MRTC) Judge Jose Lorenzo Dela Rosa sentenced Christopher Pangilinan for peddling minors for sexual exploitation and was meted the maximum penalties for violating provisions of Republic Act 9208 as amended by Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

The Philippines’ Secretary of Justice, Leila M. De Lima, in her keynote speech at the 4th ASEAN Workshop on Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia emphasized the need for solid cooperation among governments in the region to effectively address the menace of human trafficking.
“No country can address the phenomenon of trafficking on its own… When one jurisdiction supports and mirrors another jurisdiction’s efforts, we expand each other’s reach to reduce if not obliterate, the egregious violations of these predators,” De Lima said.

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) lauded the decision of the Makati Regional Trial Court against a pimp for peddling three (3) females, including a minor, to foreigners. Annaliza D. Quebec was meted the maximum penalty, life imprisonment and a fine of two million pesos (Php 2,000,000), for large scale human trafficking.

Judge, Cristina F. Javalera-Sulit found Quebec guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 6(c) of RA 9208 (large scale qualified trafficking). Large scale trafficking is deemed committed if it involved three or more victims, individually or as a group.

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) lauded the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for its issuance of Memorandum Circular No. 01-01-2014 which established guidelines for implementing Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

Section 9 of RA 9775, gives the NTC the authority to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations of the installation of filtering software that will block access to or transmission of any form of the child pornography.

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) urged local government units to address the issue of human trafficking head on using their respective law-making powers. As the country’s primary governing body against trafficking in persons, IACAT is asking incumbent local government executives to create an ordinance to localize the implementation of the principal laws against human trafficking.

The ordinance must be based primarily from Republic Act 9208 as amended by Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima, chairperson of IACAT, stated that the creation of such local legislation empowers LGUs to attend to the problem of human trafficking, from the provincial level down to the barangays.