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Philippine News Digest 54

April 30, 2003 · 

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Contents:

  • US appeal over sex offences sentence
  • Senate approves bill versus trafficking of women, children
  • US prisons hold 2M inmates

US appeal over sex offences sentence

US legal authorities have decided to appeal against what they claim is the unduly lenient sentence handed down to the former head of the Ulster Scots Agency in the North of Ireland. Stan Mallon, 62, was convicted in America for child sex offences. He received a 21-month sentence after he was arrested in a sting operation by police officers in Chicago last year. He had been due to attend St Patrick’s Day receptions at the White House but traveled to Chicago in a bid to procure a 14-year-old girl for sex. The girl he made contact with via the internet was a police officer posing as a teenager. The appeal, which normally takes up to six months, is likely to be fast-tracked as Mallon is due for release by the end of this year.

Senate approves bill versus trafficking of women, children

The Philippine Senate approved on third and final reading Senate Bill 2444 or the Anti-Trafficking Act of 2003 that will criminalize the act of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, locally or internationally. Several non-governmental organizations, including PREDA Foundation, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Women LEAD, Women’s Legal Bureau, Third World Movement Against Exploitation of Women, Women’s Health, Samaritana, Buklod-Olongapo, and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines. The PREDA Foundation uses theater presentation to bring this serious issue to the attention of policymakers. The musical drama “Once There Was a Dream” presents how children are induced to prostitution and human trafficking as a result of poverty in many third world countries. This year, the theater production will be presented in key cities in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Ireland upon the invitation of church and civic organizations in the said country.

US prisons hold 2M numbers

The population of US federal, state and local prisons has surpassed two million people, consolidating the US lead over China, Russia and Belarus in both absolute numbers of inmates and the rate of incarceration. This number does not include those in the INS, the territories, military jails, the Indian country and juveniles facilities, totaling 130,000 people. According to the report, the 50 states along with the District of Colombia and the Federal Government held behind bars as many as 1,355,748 people as of June 30, 2002 while 665,475 individuals were under lock and key in municipal and local jails. Source: Agence France Press report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8 April 2003.

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