Thursday, February 01, 2018 By GEROME M. DALIPE, Sunstar, Feb 1, 2018
Cebu Regional Trial Court Judge Soliver Peras has convicted a pimp of recruiting two women for sexual exploitation in 2014. Judge Peras found Frankie Arnaiz Basera guilty of violating Sec. 4 of Republic Act (RA) 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and sentenced him to 20 years of imprisonment and ordered him to pay P1 million as a fine. Basera “was caught in flagrante delicto offering two women for sexual service to the decoy customer,” read part of the decision.
Basera was caught in an entrapment by the Cebu City Police Station 2 in the barangays of Kamputhaw and Capitol Site last Dec. 3, 2014. Four women, 27 to 35, were rescued during the operation. During the entrapment, police personnel in civilian clothes rode an unmarked vehicle and passed by Juana Osmeña St., where their vehicle was blocked by suspected pimps and some women. Basera allegedly approached PO2 Glenn Surban, who pretended to be a potential customer searching for a woman. “I, the decoy customer, was solicited by the (alleged) pimp for sexual services,” Surban said in a joint affidavit. The policeman asked Basera, 34, to let him see the girls.
“The pimp made signals to the (women) to come near. Then the (alleged) pimp accepted the payment, worth P500,” the joint affidavit read. Once the women were in the car, Surban arrested Basera. In his testimony, Basera said the policemen were mistaken in arresting him. He said he was merely fetching his live-in partner when the police passed through the area and arrested him. A day after his arrest, Basera said, he was surprised when a case for human trafficking was filed against him. He suspected that the policemen thought that he was selling his wife for a sexual service. What can be done? In the decision, Judge Peras considered Basera’s defense a mere “concoction.”
First, he was positively identified in open court by a police decoy as the one who offered him two women for sexual services. Basera also admitted that he had no conflict with the arresting officers, such that there can be no ill motive on their part to impute a crime against him. In its 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, the US State Department said that the Philippines “fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.” It pointed out that government officials demonstrated “serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period” to fight this menace.