Sparta honors 11 prosecutors for anti-trafficking convictions
By Cristina E. Alivio
Last December 8, 2021, a total of 11 prosecutors in Davao Region were recognized for having trafficking in persons cases convictions during the Special Prosecution Annual Recognition Awards (Sparta) 2021 at the Apo View Hotel.
Human trafficking or more known here in the Philippines as trafficking in persons is the “recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of persons with or without their consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs” (Section 3 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003).
This is why recognition is befitting for these prosecutors for their effort to end trafficking in persons and all forms of related cases, even as they face reprisal from individuals or groups who are behind this new form of slavery or its methods.
Leading the 11 prosecutor awardees are Provincial Prosecutor (PP) Norman R. Solis with 24 convictions, Deputy Regional Prosecutor Barbara Mae P. Flores with 20, PP Marte Melchor S. Velasco with 17, Senior Assistant Regional Prosecutor (SARP) Robert Michael N. Razon with 17, Assistant Regional Prosecutor (ARP) Karl Andre G. Salcedo with 17, and Assistant City Prosecutor (ACP) Rizza Mae H. Sam with 14.
Deputy City Prosecutor (DCP) Leah Fe C. San Juan also has seven convictions, ACP Peter Paul M. Tombo has five, ARP Ritzel R. Polinar with four, ACP Armand D. Tirol with two, and ACP Arnold C. Abejaron with one conviction.
The number of these prosecutors’ TIP cases convictions are cumulative since the inception of the Regional Anti-Trafficking Task Force (RATTF).
Janet Grace Dalisay-Fabrero, Davao Regional Prosecutor, National Prosecution Service (NPS) 11 and the RATTF 11 head, who gave the welcome remarks during the event, said these prosecutors are worthy to be honored as they all have given their “preparation, patience, perseverance, and passion” in their cases.
“These four values serve as foundation of their commitment to attain a noble purpose, eradication of all forms of human trafficking in our region,” Dalisay-Fabrero said.
No wonder the NPS 11 also became an awardee during the 2nd Iacat Network Awards, held on the same day and the same venue but at a different time.
“Their exemplary efforts they displayed in prosecution of TIP (trafficking in persons) cases are noteworthy… While giving awards is not entirely an indispensable tool in the measurement of exemplary public service, awards are, however, effective means to encourage our prosecutors to bolster their commitment to their work,” she added. CEA