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Philippine News Digest 74

April 3, 2003 · 

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Contents:
-Manhunt on for German national charged of child abuse

-Death of Mandaluyong inmate worries officials

-Minors rescued from recruiters

Manhunt on for German national charged of child abuse

Former Senator Ernesto Maceda urged the National Bureau of Investigation to launch a nation-wide manhunt for Reinhard Havikost, a German national accused of raping at least ten girls in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. The former senator said in a statement that Havikost “is facing criminal complaints for alleged non-bailable capital offenses punishable by life imprisonment or death” and that if found, “the authorities must grab him quickly given the grave nature of the charges against him.” The child victims alleged that Havikost lured them into his cottage where he sexually abused them from November to January with cash, food and school supplies. Four other suspected foreign pedophiles are on trial, according to records by the Network Against the Sexual Abuse of Children. They were identified as American nationals Paul Jeffrey Anderson and Robert Richards, Japanese national Hiroshi Taguchi and German national Ludwig Friedrich Lotter. Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, 13 April 2004.

Death of Mandaluyong inmate worries officials

Anacita Baldomer, an inmate of the Mandaluyong City Jail, died of severe asthma attack April 1. Her death raised questions about the condition of other sickly prisoners in the city jail, which is home to 673 inmates although it is designed only for 350 persons. Such a situation is widespread all over the Philippines. The Preda Foundation has documented subhuman conditions in prisons in the country. Most are over overcrowded and poorly ventilated. Minors are detained in the same cells with adult criminals. PREDA operates a rehabilitation center for children in conflict with the law. It is expecting to admit at least 13 children presently detained in Caloocan City Jail in the coming weeks. Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, 3 April 2004 with a report from PREDA.

Minors rescued from recruiters

Authorities rescued 11 girls, eight of whom are of minor age, while they are about to board a passenger plane at the Davao International Airport April 2. They were accompanied by two recruitment agency representatives and were on their way to Manila to be trained as entertainers in Japan. They were using fictitious names and tampered birth certificates to make them appear of legal age. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 imposes stiff penalties to any person involved in trafficking. Under the law, acts that lead to the sexual exploitation of persons, including children under any pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training will get 20 years in prison and two million pesos fine. Lease or renting houses that are used in any act of trafficking or publishing anything on the internet or elsewhere that promotes trafficking of a person and faking travel documents is also punishable by imprisonment of 15 years and one million pesos. If the trafficked person is a child, the penalty is life imprisonment and five million pesos fine.

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