MAKATI CITY, Feb. 21 (PIA) -- Mayor Abby Binay ordered the closure of more establishments suspected to be involved in human trafficking and sex trade, stressing her zero tolerance policy against all forms of prostitution in the city.
Binay directed the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) to shut down establishments and entertainment spots in the city that engage in prostitution whether direct or via the internet.
"There is no room for prostitution in Makati," the mayor said firmly. "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!"
The mayor's statement stems from the recent spate of raids and closures enforced by the Makati Police and the BPLO. Two weeks ago, three karaoke bars were boarded up because of reports of prostitution in the said establishments.
In Brgy. Poblacion, 88 Hotel and Master Han Reflexology Spa in Poblacion were closed down last Friday.
According to BPLO, both establishments were being used as prostitution dens. Police raided the hotel at 11 pm after receiving a tip from an informant that the establishments were allegedly being used for illegal activities.
AGBL Wellness Spa in Brgy. Poblacion and Pentagon SPA in Brgy. Bangkal were also closed and some of its attendants were arrested for allegedly offering "extra service" to spa customers and extorting money from foreign customers.
Makati 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 Makati 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.
Besides intensifying police operations and ordering stricter reviews on business permits and licenses to operate, Mayor Abby also appealed to Makatizens 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," the mayor added.
Makati City 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. (PIA NCR)