Pinays still fall victim to Sabah sex trade

Posted at 03/26/12 10:32 PM

SABAH, Malaysia - Filipinas are still falling victim to human trafficking and sex trade in Sabah, Malaysia.

The women are smuggled through a well-known route in Mindanao.

Susan Ople of the Ople Labor Policy Center said the main causes of human trafficking in the south include the region's porous borders.

"Iyan ang problema, malaya ang human trafficking, gamit ang Tawi-tawi papuntang Malaysia. Walang sumisita, bukod pa sa mga recruiter sa mga probinsya," she said.

One facility in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, looks like an ordinary hairdressing salon.

But when you enter a small street, people are greeted by the sight of women lined up waiting for customers.

All of them are Filipinas.

At one hotel, men are ushered in to a room, then presented with several women who could offer them a night of pleasure.

The women are also all Filipinas, who are "managed" by a Filipino.

Their price, 350 ringgit or P5,000.

"Joy," one of the women interviewed by ABS-CBN News, said she reached Kota Kinabalu without a passport.

She said she became a sex worker because she wanted to get out of her small town.

"Gusto ko lang magtrabaho sa abroad, alam ko naman ang papasukan ko," she said.

However, another Filipina said was duped by a recruiter.

Promised a job as a waitress, "Juliet" said she was instead sold to a prostitution house once she arrived in Sabah.

She was able to escape with the help of other Filipinos.

She's now under the care of the Malaysian police.

Juliet said she became sick because of the things she was made to do.

"Gusto ko na lang po makauwi na," she said.

Like Joy, Juliet also arrived in Sabah without any papers.

They are just 2 of the hundreds of Filipinas in Sabah who are victims of human trafficking.

They passed through a route that is well known and remains in use until today. - report from Henry Omaga Diaz, ABS-CBN News; ANC