CLARK FREEPORT- A total of 9,444 persons bound for abroad as tourists have been off-loaded or prevented from boarding flights at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here since August last year, based on information they are victims of human trafficking or are human traffickers.
DMIA – Bureau of Immigration Office Supervisor Carlos Capulong said the 9,444 persons were among the total of 194,659 passengers departing for abroad at the airport here during the said period.
The DMIA is being marketed as one of Asia’s cheapest gateway to the different major cities in the Southeast Asian region. Its two runways can readily accommodate aircraft which offer low cost airline fares.
Capulong said, however, that DMIA’s being the hub of low cost airlines has its drawback. The DMIA has become a favored exit point of tourist workers and human traffickers, he said.
He said the BI has been active in the campaign against human trafficking by intercepting Filipino travelers strongly suspected or are confirmed to be either human traffickers or victims of human trafficking.
Capulong said 10 of the off-loading cases were referred to the National Bureau of Investigation for proper disposition, leading to the filing of human trafficking charges against 51 suspects who are now in jail without bail privilege.
Capulong disclosed that human traffickers usually pose their victims as going abroad for study tours or packaged for group tours.
Capulong said his agency is mandated by RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 to adopt measures for the apprehension of suspected traffickers both at the place of arrival and departure.