Davao del Norte authorities have rescued 13 Japanese—nine are minors—believed to be victims of human trafficking.
Super Radyo Davao's Arnel Cortez reported on Dobol B sa News TV on Wednesday that the victims were rescued in Barangay Toril in the island city of Samal in Davao del Norte.
Citing initial police information, the report said that of the 13 victims, four are of age, nine are minors and among them were three girls.
According to a report by Tek Ocampo on Balita Pilipinas Ngayon, arrested were Hajime Kawauchi, 61, and his sone Yuya, 35, and their household helper Lorena Mapagdalita, 56.
Authorities discovered the trafficking incident when Mapagdalita reported to police that four Japanese children had gone missing from a training school in Barangay Toril in Babac District, Samal Island.
But police investigation discovered that the children had run away due to physical abuse and forced labor.
Elements from the PNP Region 11 immediately activated the inter-agency council against trafficking for a rescue operation.
The children are now in the custody of local social welfare officials in Samal and the remaining four have been brought to the Japanese Embassy.
Meanwhile, the two Japanese suspects and their Filipino helper are now in detention, facing charges for violation of Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 and for violation of RA 7610 or anti-child abuse and discrimination law. —LBG, GMA News