8 persons to face charges for human trafficking in Pampanga - DOJ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it has found probable cause to file charges against eight individuals allegedly behind the trafficking of over 1,000 people of various nationalities in a cyber scamming hub in Clark, Pampanga last May.

The DOJ on Friday said its Prosecution Task Force on Trafficking Cases issued a resolution on May 22 indicting the eight for violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla earlier said 12 human trafficking suspects were arrested, but it was not clear why only eight were indicted.

The DOJ did not disclose the names and other details of the eight indicted suspects.

On May 5, authorities rescued the victims who were supposedly forced to work as cyber scammers. Among them, Remulla said only 18 filed complaints against the 12 arrested suspects.

READ: Authorities rescue 1,000 trafficked victims working for cyber scams in Pampanga

Upon confirmation of their identities, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) processed departure orders for 936 foreign nationals. As of May 31, the DOJ said 291 of them have been repatriated.

Those awaiting repatriation will be placed under the legal custody of the BI with security from the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group, Remulla said.

Up to 465 displaced Filipino were also given financial assistance and directed to the Department of Labor and Employment, the DOJ added.

During a Senate hearing in April, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the Philippines is hosting scam hubs operated by trafficked foreign nationals who are forced to swindle other people.

READ: PH hosting scam hubs run by trafficked foreign nationals - Hontiveros