JULY 9, 2019 – The local government unit of Quezon, Bukidnon, under Mayor “Poling” Lorenzo, along with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), strongly condemns human trafficking and urges the public to be wary of recruiters promising quick and easy employment.

The NCIP, represented by Commissioner Dominador Gomez, Regional Director Atty. Pinky Grace P. Pareja, and Provincial Officer Shirlene Sario, assisted by the PNP, rescued 34 Manobo folk from an exploitative fishcage owner in Pangasinan, ensuring that they would return to their homes in Brgy. Butong safely.

After the victims—numbering 32 adults and two children—arrived in Brgy. Butong, the Quezon LGU, through the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), Municipal Health Officer (MHO), and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD), provided free medical checkups and treatments, food packs, 15 sacks of rice to sustain them for one month, and P3,500 each to cover clearances and other pre-employment expenses. This is as Bae Uli Lataran has pledged to ensure that 30 of the victims would be employed under Davao Agricultural Ventures Corporation (DAVCO), a portion of which is situated within her CADT area.
According to the victims, they were told by a recruiter—also from Brgy. Butong—that they would be hired only to feed bangus. On June 11, 2019, the recruiter and the victims departed from Cagayan De Oro via ship. As many as 52 Manobo victims have been reported to be under the employ of the said fishcage.

The victims stated that they worked under deplorable conditions, travelling one hour to open sea at 6 AM, doing manual labor up to 12 hours a day with no protection from the weather.

The victims also reported that they did not receive any compensation, after being promised a monthly wage of P7,500 with free meals, board and lodging, and transportation. Furthermore, they allege that the recruiter promised a P5,500 cash advance to be given to their families. The victims received no such amount.

On one occasion, the employer allegedly kicked one of the victims, after being told that he was ill and could not come to work for the day. The employer reportedly handed the victims their meals by throwing these at them—if the food fell in the water, they were not replaced.

The party decided to escape the employer. A first group of 17 left, followed by the 34, which was escorted by the NCIP after being received by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). On the evening of July 8, they arrived in Cagayan de Oro, and were promptly escorted to Quezon.

Mayor Lorenzo calls on the public to be wary of recruiters promising employment, and to report human trafficking cases to barangay officials and police. The Quezon LGU is working with the NCIP, PNP, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), AFP, and barangay officials to prevent further trafficking incidents.

The NCIP, represented by Commissioner Dominador Gomez, Regional Director Atty. Pinky Grace P. Pareja, and Provincial Officer Shirlene Sario, assisted by the PNP, rescued 34 Manobo folk from an exploitative fishcage owner in Pangasinan, ensuring that they would return to their homes in Brgy. Butong safely.

After the victims—numbering 32 adults and two children—arrived in Brgy. Butong, the Quezon LGU, through the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), Municipal Health Officer (MHO), and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD), provided free medical checkups and treatments, food packs, 15 sacks of rice to sustain them for one month, and P3,500 each to cover clearances and other pre-employment expenses. This is as Bae Uli Lataran has pledged to ensure that 30 of the victims would be employed under Davao Agricultural Ventures Corporation (DAVCO), a portion of which is situated within her CADT area.
According to the victims, they were told by a recruiter—also from Brgy. Butong—that they would be hired only to feed bangus. On June 11, 2019, the recruiter and the victims departed from Cagayan De Oro via ship. As many as 52 Manobo victims have been reported to be under the employ of the said fishcage.

The victims stated that they worked under deplorable conditions, travelling one hour to open sea at 6 AM, doing manual labor up to 12 hours a day with no protection from the weather.

The victims also reported that they did not receive any compensation, after being promised a monthly wage of P7,500 with free meals, board and lodging, and transportation. Furthermore, they allege that the recruiter promised a P5,500 cash advance to be given to their families. The victims received no such amount.

On one occasion, the employer allegedly kicked one of the victims, after being told that he was ill and could not come to work for the day. The employer reportedly handed the victims their meals by throwing these at them—if the food fell in the water, they were not replaced.

The party decided to escape the employer. A first group of 17 left, followed by the 34, which was escorted by the NCIP after being received by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). On the evening of July 8, they arrived in Cagayan de Oro, and were promptly escorted to Quezon.
Mayor Lorenzo calls on the public to be wary of recruiters promising employment, and to report human trafficking cases to barangay officials and police. The Quezon LGU is working with the NCIP, PNP, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), AFP, and barangay officials to prevent further trafficking incidents.