By John Rey Saavedra

(PNA file photo)

CEBU CITY – A female supervisor is now facing trafficking in person charges after being caught acting as a “keeper” of a bar where government agents rescued 20 women allegedly victims of human trafficking.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cebu filed on Wednesday the criminal charges against a certain Riza Novela who was arrested on June 21 inside a bar along A.S. Fortuna St. in Barangay Banilad, Mandaue City.

“(We) will also file the same charges against the bar owners,” the NBI-Cebu said.

The case stemmed from an operation against 20 JTV Bar employees who allegedly offered “extra service” to male patrons.

Acting from a concerned citizen’s tip, the NBI dispatched two undercover agents to verify the information.

The establishment would offer customers unlimited drinks for a PHP600 fee while a “manager” would then introduce their “customer care assistants” who would sit, sing, or dance with them.

Accordingly, most of the customer care assistants were single mothers or women struggling financially.

NBI agents in Cebu went undercover and arranged for two “customer care assistants” to have dinner and go with them to a nearby motel.

The agents brought the two female workers to a nearby safehouse where social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) debriefed them.

The agents raided the bar and rescued 18 more employees from the same establishment. (PNA)