Anyone who dismisses Angeles City bargirls as prostituted women victimized by human traffickers should have spent a Sunday afternoon with William and me in October of 2012. We met with three young Filipinas living and working here in the entertainment district of Angeles City. Attracting and entertaining men is their livelihood.
In our post about the Philippine government’s September, 2010, “anti-trafficking” bar raid in Angeles City—a police action that resulted in the detention of 268 bargirls and other workers from four different bars—we argued that the raid was staged as a show to demonstrate that the government was serious about suppressing human trafficking. We said the [...]
William F. Steinwachs I returned to Angeles City on October 14, just one month after the bar raid we discussed in our post of October 27, 2010. I wasn’t sure what to expect one month after the raids. Several bars had been raided and closed, at least temporarily. Close to 300 bar personnel – dancers, [...]
On September 15, 2010, truck loads of armed personnel from the Philippine National Police raided four bars in the entertainment district of Angeles City, reinforced by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Two hundred sixty-eight bar employees, including three of our interviewees, were placed in detention for one week. Tala (an interviewee) contacted us upon her release with the news of the raids.
Officials said the raid was to “rescue” victims of “trafficking,” a claim as admirable as it is bogus. We find no evidence whatsoever of human trafficking in the entertainment district of Angeles City.
This raises the question of why the Philippine authorities would conduct an anti-trafficking raid in a place where trafficking does not exist.
Hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. aid to the Philippines hangs in the balance.
It is not unusual for a bar girl to have a steady Filipino boyfriend or husband and ALSO keep one or more foreign boyfriends. These foreign boyfriends, unbeknownst to one another, are each under the misperception that he alone is the object of the girl’s affection and is the girl’s sole financial support. This arrangement [...]