The Makati City government has started a citywide crackdown on motels and other business establishments engaged in sex trafficking.
Mayor Abigail Binay tapped the city’s Business Permit and Licensing Office to shut down establishments and entertainment spots in the city that engage in prostitution, whether direct or via the Internet.
Binay reiterated her zero tolerance policy against all forms of prostitution in the city by ordering the closure of more establishments suspected to be involved in human trafficking and sex trade.
“There is no room for prostitution in Makati,” the city chief executive said.
“We will hunt down prostitution dens, karaoke bars, spas, condominiums, and even computer shops that exploit young men and women in the sex trade. We will shut down your operations and make sure that you are unable to do business in Makati. I will say this again, illegal activities are not welcome here!” she warned.
In Barangay Poblacion, 88 Hotel and Master Han Reflexology Spa in Poblacion were closed down last Friday. BPLO officials said both establishments were being used as prostitution dens.
Police raided the hotel after receiving a tip from an informant that the establishments were allegedly being used for illegal activities.
AGBL Wellness Spa, also in Barangay Poblacion, and Pentagon Spa in Barangay Bangkal were also closed, and some of its attendants were arrested for allegedly offering “extra service” to customers and extorting money from foreign clients.
Police also arrested Sebelita Santos, manager of AGBL Wellness Spa, earlier this month after receiving a tip from an informant. The suspect allegedly harbored ladyboys who extort money from their foreign customers.
On Saturday, 24 alleged sex workers were rescued by the Makati City police inside a computer shop at Barangay San Isidro. Edison Cafe was immediately closed.
Police said suspects Rafael Rosales, 42; Rodolfo Robles, 38; and Josua Rivera, 29, were allegedly using the establishment as a prostitution den.
Authorities rescued 24 women who were purportedly being sold to foreigners.
Last month, Mayor Binay also ordered the closure of a KTV bar inside a hotel situated near the city’s Central Business District, also for alleged sex trafficking. Two Taiwanese nationals were also arrested for operating the alleged prostitution den.
Besides intensifying police operations and ordering stricter reviews on business permits and licenses to operate, Mayor Binay also appealed to residents to stay vigilant and watchful.
The majority of the police raids resulted from reports or tips received from concerned citizens.
“Please continue being watchful, concerned, and involved. This is our community and everyone’s safety and security are at stake. We want to make sure that Makati remains a safe place for all of us,” said Binay.
Residents are encouraged to use the Makatizen App to report crimes, emergencies, and illegal activities. The app is free to use and can be downloaded by both Android and iOS mobile phone users.