DAVAO CITY--- The lack of witnesses to prosecute illegal traffickers is hampering the drive against human trafficking.
This according to Assistant Regional Prosecutor Atty. Ritzel Rabor-Polinar during the monthly Kapehan sa NCCC press forum held today (Nov. 6) at the NCCC Mall in Davao City.
Atty Rabor-Polinar together with some members of the Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) at the media forum as part of the information campaign in the occasion of the Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
The lady prosecutor said that there are several factors which can weaken a human trafficking case. One of which is holding the witnesses.
Polinar said that the relationship between the witnesses and the accused particularly if they are relatives is one of the reasons why witnesses are reluctant to testify.
She cited a case against child pornography where the accused is the aunt of the victim/witness.
According to Department of Justice data of the 85 anti-trafficking cases filed from 2004 up to the present there are 85 cases filed of which 11 were dismissed due to lack of evidence and lack witnesses.
About 52 cases are still active with 11 convictions and one acquittal.
The year 2014 was the busiest in the filing of anti-trafficking cases with 20 cases filed in the court.
The 85 cases involves 123 victims of which 68 are female children, 44 female adults, eight male children and three mala adults.
About 82 of the cases involve sexual exploitation while the other three are forced labor cases. (PIA/RG Alama)