The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) cites Judge Raphael Yraztorsa of Regional Trial Court ofMandaue City for handing down the first human trafficking conviction in Mandaue City. A bar manager of a “high-end” and “untouchable” strip club was convicted for violation of RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and sentenced with lifetime imprisonment and a fine of 5 million pesos.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima recently designated State Counsel Ricardo Paras III as OIC-Undersecretary for one year beginning July.
Paras will temporarily head the office of Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar who will be on leave to pursue post-graduate studies in the United States. Salazar is the current most senior undersecretary of the department and is the Undersecretary-in-Charge of the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT).
As a reaction to the US State Department's 13th Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, with the Philippines sustaining its Tier 2 status, Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima, Chairperson of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), said that while she was most pleased with the retention of the Tier 2 ranking, "the goal for the Government is to attain Tier I status."
Ms. Susan Ople, President of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, receiving an award from US Sec. John Kerry, during the awarding ceremony of the United States Department of State 2013 Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award, held in Washington D.C., June 20, 2013.
Government's intensified efforts against human trafficking has resulted in the arrest of an American operating a night club which is a front for prostitution, and the rescue of 16 women in Angeles City, Pampanga.
In a joint effort with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Inter-Agency Council Against Human Trafficking (IACAT) has successfully rescued three minors and arrested a couple engaged in cybersex operations in Cordova, Cebu last May 26, 2013.