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'Anti-human trafficking efforts must protect Filipinos here and overseas' - VP Binay

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"Human trafficking, whether perpetrated by foreign syndicates or local gangs, is a direct assault on our people and as such, is a national security issue," Vice President Jejomar C. Binay stressed in his message Wednesday at the 48th Anniversary Symposium of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Thus, government's efforts to combat human trafficking should protect Filipinos here and abroad, he said.

"As we justifiably condemn the indignities our 'kababayans' can suffer in foreign lands, we cannot remain ignorant of the atrocities that occur at home but draw less attention," the Vice President said.

Binay, who is the chairman emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Concerns, noted many Filipinos who do not go abroad come to Manila from the provinces in the hope of finding decent work and better life.

"Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to being abused and prostituted out. Men and boys can be relegated to cheap labor, gaining compensation far below the wage set by law, if they are paid at all,” he said.

He also noted that children in the remote areas of the country are equally exposed to exploitation as they are sometimes used as “combatants, servants and spies.”

He cited a 2010 incident when the military rescued eight child soldiers conscripted by the New People’s Army (NPA).

“This past April, the UN (United Nations) registered 600 minors fitting the classification of child soldiers in the service of the MILF,” Binay said. He added that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has already vowed to stop the practice.

“It is our earnest prayer that the NPA and other armed groups in conflict with the government make the same pledge in the name of peace and humanity,” he said.

The Vice President also said that the Aquino administration will no longer allow trafficking to lure more Filipinos into suffering.


“We must stop its attack on our nation’s soul,” he stressed. (PNA)




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