Anti-human trafficking authorities interview two of the 14 individuals who were rescued from Bataraza. | Photo from PCG District Palawan

Authorities prevented the departure of 14 individuals from Narra who would have been victims of human trafficking on March 31 at Buliluyan Port in Bataraza, southern Palawan.

Initial reports from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) District Palawan said that personnel from their Buliluyan substation prevented their vessel’s exit to save them from becoming victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking.

The joint operation was in close cooperation with personnel of the Bataraza Municipal Police Station (MPS), Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), and Buliluyan barangay tanod. 

According to the Bataraza MPS, Gary John Abubacar, 37 years old, fisherman, was arrested as a suspect for violating Republic Act (RA) 9208, or Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, as amended by RA 10364.

They were scheduled to depart Buliluyan Port on the evening of March 31 to sail to Mangsee Island before going to Malaysia on the M/L Faury, a wooden-hulled passenger and cargo motor launch.

All of them from Brgy. Princess Urduja, Narra, are now being taken care of by the Bataraza MPS.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.