You are on page 1of 4







Criminal case no. 141623, People v. Rugas


06 November 2016



1. Is Respondent Mando Rugas act of selling his children is an act of trafficking in persons
within the purview of RA 10364 or known as the Expanded Anti Trafficking in Persons Act of
2. Likewise, whether Respondent's act, if considered trafficking, is a qualified one?
Brief Answer
Yes, Respondent committed an act of qualified trafficking for selling his children to three (3)
different individuals, as defined under RA 9208, as amended by RA 10364 of 2012.
Statement of Facts
Respondent Mando Rugas (Rugas), 25 years old, has been a couch potato all his life. He
did not brother to look for a job for he is confident that he will live a well-off life because of the
trust fund established by his loving and industrious parents in favor of him. He also likes
surfing the net, especially the website Facebookow.
One morning, as he was browsing the said site, he came across the profile of Gi Lamoon
Luk (Gi), private petitioner. Having a beautiful profile picture, it caught Rugas' attention and
sent her a friend request. They eventually became chatmates, later on went on a meet-up and
consequently got married.
Although already married, Rugas remained a lazy man who kills his time by watching the
television, surfing the net and playing online games. Gi felt no love from him. In fact, the latter
will only notice Gi when he was hungry or when he feels a carnal urge. However, out of love
and hope, Gi stayed with Rugas, endured such treatment, and bore him triplets a year after
their wedding. They named their babies Leila, Benigno and Rody.
In January 2016, Gi's luck went from bad to worse, for Rugas' trust fund had already
depleted. Unfortunately, he likewise developed drug addiction that drove him mad. Desperate

to satisfy his drug addiction, he sold his babies to different buyers.

Leila was sold to JB, a pimp; Benigno to Paquito, an organ seller; and Rody to Leni, a
barren wife.
After finding the horrible deed of her husband, Gi immediately cause the arrest of Rugas
and the filing of necessary charges against him.
An Information for violation of Section 4 of R.A. 9208, as amended by R.A. 10364, was
filed against Rugas. The information likewise alleged that the trafficking was qualified since
the victims are children, the offense was committed by the parent and that the crime was
committed in a large scale.
Rugas committed an act of trafficking in persons defined under RA 10364.
Generally, section 4 (a) of the subject law provides that there is trafficking in persons
when a person does any of the following acts:
"SEC. 4. Acts of Trafficking in Persons. It shall be unlawful for any
person, natural or juridical, to commit any of the following acts:
"(a) To recruit, obtain, hire, provide, offer, transport, transfer, maintain,
harbor, or receive a person by any means, including those done under
the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training
apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, or sexual
As borne out by the facts of the case, Respondent sold his babies to three (3) different
individuals. However, it should be worthy to note that the act of selling a child is not included
in the preceding provision which would constitute trafficking under RA 10364.
However, it should also be noted that section 4 (k) of the law provides that:
(k) To recruit, transport, harbor, obtain, transfer, maintain, hire, offer,
provide, adopt or receive a child for purposes of exploitation or trading
them, including but not limited to, the act of baring and/or selling a child
for any consideration or for barter for purposes of exploitation. x x x
(Emphasis, underscoring and italics ours).
To reiterate, Respondent sold his babies to different persons. As clearly mentioned from
the preceding provision, the act of baring and/or selling a child is an act of trafficking in

It may however be argued that albeit the preceding provision considers the act of barring
and/or selling a child as an act of trafficking in persons, the same provides that such act
must be for purposes of exploitation. That Respondent's only purpose for selling his children
is not to exploit but to satisfy his personal urges, as in this case, his drug addiction, is
Selling the babies to the mentioned buyers infers that there is a huge possibility that there
is a purpose to exploit them and/or use them for profit considering the line of work and/or
business where the buyers belong. JB, the pimp, will more likely use Leila for sexual
exploitation; Paquito might sell the organs of Benigno to profit and Leni might use Rody for
forced labor or worst, a sex slave.
From the foregoing, the Act committed by Mando satisfies that act of trafficking defined
under RA 10364.
The act committed is qualified trafficking in persons as provided for in the subject law.
Section 6 of the law states that:
"SEC. 6. Qualified Trafficking in Persons. Violations of Section 4
of this Act shall be considered as qualified trafficking:
"(a) when the trafficked person is a child;
x x x
(c) when the crime is committed by a syndicate or in large scale;
"(d) When the offender is a spouse, an ascendant, parent, sibling, guardian or a
person who exercises authority over the trafficked person or when the offense is
committed by a public officer or employee; (Emphasis, italics and underscoring
"x x x
It is undisputed that the trafficked persons are children, and the trafficker, Mando, is the
latters' father which thus qualifies the act of trafficking provided in section 6 (a) and (d) of the
Likewise, it shows that the act is indeed qualified trafficking in persons because the act is
committed in large scale provided in section 6 (c).
Jurisprudence provides that an act is deemed committed in large scale if the acts are

directed against multiplicity of victims. 1 As borne out by the facts, Respondent sold his three
(3) babies, hence, there is multiplicity of victims. Therefore, the act is qualified.
It may again be argued that the act cannot constitute qualified trafficking because the
purpose of Respondent is merely to satisfy his needs and to exploit which makes the
qualification in section 6 of said law immaterial is bereft of merit. To reiterate, the fact that
Rugas sold his children to different individuals with makes them prone to exploitation and the
mere fact that Rugas has profited from such act already tantamount to trafficking.
Rugas is guilty of qualified trafficking in persons under RA 9208 as amended by RA 10364
after the elements of qualified trafficking has been satisfied, being a parent of the trafficked
children who were still babies, in exchange of money.
Respondent should be held liable under RA 10364.

MacDonald & Goldman. (n.d.). Substantive and Procedural Aspects of International Criminal Law, last accessed at
=if%20the%20act%20is%20committed%20in%20large%20scale&f=false, November 6, 2016.