“I WILL run away.”
This is what Mona (not her real name) told Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) 7 social worker Eppie Partosa during their conversation yesterday.
Partosa told Sun.Star in a phone interview that Mona, who is in her early 20s, intended to flee if a man tried to have sex with her.
Mona is one of seven girls rescued by Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) operatives in Barangay Guizo, Mandaue City, Cebu last Tuesday night.
The police also arrested the 25-year-old pimp who allegedly got the girls into prostitution.
Three of the girls are minors.
Senior Insp. Meche Gabod, head of the MCPO Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD), told reporters that the girls are between 16 and 22 years old. They are now under the care of DSWD 7.
Sun.Star Cebu is withholding the names of the girls and the pimp to comply with Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Insp. Sheryl Bautista, WCPD deputy chief, said the police had been monitoring the pimp’s activities for three weeks.
Basak Police Station Chief Wilson Abot reportedly got a tip that the suspect allegedly recruited girls from the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue and town of Consolacion. The suspect allegedly prostituted the girls on the streets.
Last Tuesday, Gabod said an undercover police contacted the suspected pimp through text and they agreed to meet outside a pizzeria.
During the operation, some of the girls were wearing school uniforms, but Gabod said they might have been play-acting.
Bautista of the WCPD said the pimp asks customers to pay P3,000 for an adult woman and P2,500 for a minor.
In an interview with reporters, the suspected pimp gets a P500-commission from each customer.
He said a friend referred the girls to him, and asked him to escort them in Mandaue.
“They are willing to have sex with men for money,” he said in Cebuano.
But Partosa said Mona did not know she was going to become a prostitute.
Mona told the social worker that she just went along with her friend who knows the alleged pimp.
The WCPD will file a complaint against the pimp for violation of Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.