By Hans Amanico
Thirty four women allegedly held against their will were rescued Friday night by Manila policemen inside a house in St. Fabie Estate Subdivision in Ermita, Manila.
Senior Inspector Jake Serrano Arcilla of the Manila Police District (MPD) General Assignment Investigation Section said they acted on the complaint of four alleged victims who claimed to have escaped from the house.
“Nagpaalam lang ‘yung apat na bibili ng pagkain sa tindahan at nung nakalabas sila, tinakbuhan na nila ‘yung caretaker,” Arcilla said.
Police arrested Neni Dumanon, the caretaker, during the raid at 11 p.m.
The victims were recruited from Visayas and Mindanao by a certain Edlyn Abiera and promised jobs in Saudi Arabia as domestic helpers for $400 monthly.
After arriving in Manila, the victims were instructed to report to a manpower agency in Padre Faura Street in Ermita.
The victims were brought to the house of a certain Madam Eva, reportedly a Saudi Arabian national.
One of the victims claimed that all their mobile phones were confiscated, preventing them to contact their relatives.
They were allowed to leave the premises only when accompanied by the house caretaker.
Some of the victims have been locked up for as long as four months, police said.
“Sabi naman kasi, normal na sa mga recruitment na may accommodation para pag may kailangan ipadala sa ibang bansa, ready agad,” Arcilla said. “Pero, bawal kasi ‘yun, nakasanayan na lang.”
Arcilla said normally, accommodation is good complete with bunk beds for prospective applicants.
“Pero sa kaso nila, nasa gilid gilid lang sila nakahiga,” he said.
Arcilla said the recruiter explained why mobile phones were confiscated.
“Sabi ng recruiter, part daw ng training kasi sa ibang bansa daw ‘di ba nga hindi pinapayagan mag cellphone sa trabaho,” he said. “Pero, more likely nyan, ayaw lang talaga nila kumontak sa ibang employers yung na-recruit nila.”
The victims, who were initially brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), have been sent home to their respective provinces.
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