PNA file photo

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it rescued two Filipino women suspected to be human trafficking victims who initially claimed to be tourists bound for Singapore.

In a statement, the BI said they attempted to depart the country as "tourists via a Scoot Airlines flight at the Clark International Airport (CIA) last May 27."

“This is a clear case of human trafficking, wherein the victims are instructed to pretend to be tourists,” BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said.

However, the two women were found to possess an active work permit as entertainers in Singapore.

“In many cases, these victims are made to believe that they will be working as entertainers, but many end up forced to work in the sex trade,” Tansingco added.

During the interception, the victims first told authorities that they were not acquainted with each other.

They also defended that their travel was for vacation purposes only.

But after verification, the victims admitted their online application for the work as entertainers.

"They each paid PHP30,000 and PHP15,000 for the processing of their documents," the BI said.

Amid the illicit recruitment, the BI assisted the victims to file charges against their recruiters through the CIA Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking. (PNA)