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36 Badjao Used by Syndicate to Beg Money Rescued while Handler Arrested

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) personnel in Pampanga rescued 36 Badjao, including 12 children, who were allegedly used by the syndicate to beg.

According to a GMA News report, NBI-Anti Human Trafficking Division personnel conducted an operation in Apalit that resulted in the arrest of a member of the syndicate who serves as the Badjao’s “handler.” Because the authorities are still conducting operations, the handler’s name was not revealed at first.

36 Badjao Rescued

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He claimed that the syndicate has a recruiter who travels to Zamboanga to convince Badjao to beg in Manila and the surrounding regions. Instead of being transported by ship, the Badjao were supposedly transported by plane in order to avoid being spotted at the port.

The Badjao and its handler split the money they get from begging 50/50. The Badjao people’s rent and food payments are also being withdrawn, according to Janet Francisco, chief NBI-AHTD.

The Badjao must be rescued since they can transmit COVID-19 when approaching or boarding automobiles to beg, according to reports. After their quarantine period, the Badjao will be returned to Zamboanga, while the apprehended handler was prosecuted for human trafficking crimes.

Earlier this year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) aided 232 of the 303 Badjao tribe members rescued in Manila from still-unidentified human trafficking groups. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-NCR) organized ferry voyages to ensure the indigenous peoples’ (IP) safe return to Zamboanga City.

A total of PHP5,000 was given to each household or individual. The IPs were given family food packs, hygiene and sanitary kits, milk, and prepared meals while in the BP2 center, according to a statement from the DSWD-NCR.

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