Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why all the recent raids and mayoral edicts concerning the bars in Angeles City?

I live in Angeles but do not indulge in going to any of the bars on Fields Avenue or Perimeter Road. Those of us living here, both bar goers or not, have been very curious about all the recent mayoral proclamations and recent raids. The article below from the internet (GMA TV News) written by a local journalist explains it all. The new US ambassador, surely due to instruction from his boss, our beloved president, has let it be known that this country had better crack down if it wants to continue to receive its quarter billion in US aid. From what I read in the article the US is insisting not just on flashy raids but on actual prosecutions and convictions. Whoa! Now THAT is frightening. No way will I go to any of these bars, or at least not until this stuff blows over, which it surely will since it has in the past. But until then, there's no way I want to risk getting caught up in this new anti-prostitution wave. I suggest that others take the same concerns under advisement when coming here. For now, stick to the beaches and diving folks! Anyway, you can still come to AC for the numerous malls and fairly inexpensive hotels and restaurants; and the coast is now only a few minutes away by way of the expressway.

DOJ chief: 268 trafficking victims rescued in Pampanga 09/16/2010 03:17 PM

Share20 (Updated 4:04 p.m.) Joint government operatives rescued about 268 human trafficking victims on Wednesday night in Pampanga, said Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, whose office supervises the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

De Lima said the rescue of the victims in Angeles City, Pampanga were made through the joint efforts of the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the IACAT, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

"They rescued last night more than 200 trafficked persons from 10 establishments. Many victims are minors. We dispatched state prosecutors in Angeles City to conduct inquest proceedings," she said at a news briefing Thursday.

In a separate text message, De Lima said that of the 268 victims, at least 15 were minors.

The victims were rescued from bars and night clubs identified as Camelot, Dirty Duck, and Forbidden City.

De Lima, who assumed office last July, had instructed the IACAT to step up efforts to combat human trafficking.

The Philippines is in danger of losing some $250-million in aid from the US State Department if it does not improve the prosecution of trafficking syndicates.

Of the hundreds of human trafficking cases Justice prosecutors filed before the courts since the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act was enacted in 2003, only 23 cases led to convictions.

The US State Department's 2010 human trafficking report retained the Philippines' "Tier 2 watch list" rank, indicating that the country "does not fully comply with, but is making significant efforts to meet" the agency's standards.

The US government recently earmarked $500,000 for a three-year project where an American federal prosecutor will be sent to the country to train Philippine prosecutors handling human trafficking cases. The project also entails a protection program for victims and witnesses. — Sophia Regina Dedace/KBK/RSJ, GMANews.TV


Ed said...

Is that kind of stuff mostly in Angeles and Manila? I haven't seen any of that in my travels but I have never been to Angeles and I try to spend as little a time as possible in Manila.

PhilippinesPhil said...

A place with so many desperately poor people with no real way to earn much, working in a bar is about the only way to go for many of these girls. Regardless of the age I've never met or heard of any girl forced to go with a customer, at least not in any of the foreigner bars, although in a local bar, who knows? Angeles City does not have a "human trafficking problem," not on Fields Ave they don't; but thats not the impression you get from the newsprint. Sec of State Clinton is frying up the wrong mess of fish on this one. There are other places in the world that truly do have trafficking issues. It really has no affect on me though; I'm merely an observer on this one.

Anonymous said...

this is crazy as i have been going to angeles city since 07 and have gone to camalot since o7 and many bars in fields ave and have never once seen 1 girl who was ever forced to go on a barfine or even have a drink with a customer if they did not want all they are doing is hurting there own people cause do u really think angeles city will have any tourist coming there other wise

PhilippinesPhil said...

Truthfully, probably not, but I'm beginning to thing that the writing is on the wall. I spoke to an Aussie tourist yesterday at the gym who is totally demoralized by all the latest shenanigans. He's confused and feels its too risky to keep coming here. He left for Thailand this morning. Thing is, he also said that he prefers the girls here to anywhere else in the world, and he DOES have a point there. So, once this stuff blows over, if it does this time, the tourists will come back. As for the reason those particular bars were raided, it probably has more to do with punishing certain people for taking a stand. Here's food for thought though: I did some research; the country's laws against "human trafficking" state that all sex for money is illegal, and any establishment involved in that in any way shape or form can be proecuted. So, if a girl leaves a bar and has sex with a patron it could be construed as human trafficking, as defined by law, whether or not the girl is forced into doing it or not. Capishe? I remember when the mayor of Manila closed down the Mabini clubs, so its entirely possible that we are now in the midst of the same thing happening in AC. So be it. Let's see how it plays out though...