Two women have been sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of engaging in sex trafficking, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced Thursday.
NBI officer-in-charge Director Eric B. Distor said that last March 4, the Laguna Family Court Branch 6 ruled that it found Mary Jane Mendoza and Magdalena Viray guilty of five counts of qualified trafficking of persons under Republic Act (RA) 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 as amended by RA 10364.
“The court ordered the two accused to suffer life imprisonment for each count and also ordered them to pay a fine of P2 million without eligibility for parole and to pay each private complainants the amount P200,000.00 as moral damages and P100,000.00 as exemplary damages,” the NBI said in a statement.
Mendoza and Viray were arrested on Sept. 26, 2019 during an entrapment operation conducted by the NBI’s Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Division (NBI-AVAWCD).
During the operation, NBI-AVAWCD agents rescued five females including three minors.
Also arrested with them was their male companion Warren Masacayan.
“The court, however, ordered the acquittal of Warren Masacayan y Reyes for failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the latter,” the NBI said.