78-year-old Australian caught with 4 "*** slaves"
CEBU, Philippines - A 78-year-old Australian national was arrested past 10 p.m. Wednesday in his rented house where he allegedly kept four minors as “*** slaves” in barangay Inayagan, City of Naga.
Angelo Farina, said to be of Italian descent, was arrested by the Naga police armed with a search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 8 Presiding Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul.
The four girls - two 14-year-olds and two 15-year-olds, were rescued by the Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB) which is set to file today three separate charges against Farina. Aside from the pending case for qualified human trafficking which was filed last April, the Australian will also be facing more charges for qualified human trafficking, harboring minors for purposes of sexual exploitation, and child abuse.
PCInsp. Timmar Alam, chief of the City of Naga Police Station, said they were preparing the charges to be slapped against Farina, who refused to issue statements to the police from his detention cell.
The foreigner, who has been living in the country for 16 years now, threw his own urine to media people who tried to take pictures or interview him.
Alam admitted that the children and their parents are not cooperative with the police. But he vows charges will be filed despite this.
The police chief revealed that during the raid, the four minors resisted. The girls told the police they would not leave the Australian’s home despite being made *** slaves.
“Nasuko na ang mga bata nganung gikuha kuno sila nga maayo man kuno ilang kahimtang didto,” said Alam. (The kids were angry, saying they were comfortable in his house.)
Alam added that one of the victims complained about being taken to the Department of the Social Welfare and Development, saying they were in good hands.
The police chief said that Farina sends the children to school and gives them and their parents some money in exchange for ***.
The police was supposed to raid Farina’s house earlier yet. It has been under surveillance since early June. But the children’s parents, who had agreed to help the police, backed out after reportedly receiving money from the Australian.
Last June 12, Farina went to Australia so the raid was shelved. The four girls were left in the care of Farina’s househelp, who was not seen during last Wednesday’s raid, while he was away.
The Australian arrived back in Naga last July 17.
Alam said the four minors were reportedly not the only ones Farina used for “personal consumption.” There were others in the past and he reportedly sired a child with one of them.
The Australian has reportedly been in Naga for over a year already. The police chief said they received reports that he recently acquired a property in Carcar City and was about to move there with the girls.
Mayor Valdemar Chiong commended the police and the CLB for
the arrest of Farina.
“This is a product of continuous effort of our lawmen. And I’d like to congratulate the group (the PNP and the CLB),” said Chiong in an interview.
Chiong hopes this case is the only one in his city. But he urges authorities to continue its monitoring activities especially on crimes against children.
Lawyer Noemi Truya-Abarientos, program coordinator for Laban Bata of the CLB, told The FREEMAN that they are now seriously looking into the liabilities of the parents and to those who benefited from the exploitation.
Last April, a 15-year-old victim informed the police that she and six others were taken from their homes and promised education but it turned out that they were paying the foreigner a ‘service’.
One of the victims, Abarientos said, claimed they were treated as *** slaves and had to serve the foreigner anytime he wants to. Abarientos added Farina blamed the parents for not providing the needs of their children.
“Ang parents sad intawn nga feeling guilty nisugot na lang pud sa offer sa foreigner nga himuong katabang ilang anak in exchange for an education,” she said. (The parents felt guilty for not being able to send their children to school so they agreed to send their children as Farina’s helpers.) — Liv G. Campo and Ria Mae Y. Booc/JPM (THE FREEMAN)