By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
EVEN the police cannot confirm if the Iloilo Terminal Market, popularly known as “Super,” has become Iloilo City’s “sex den.”
Vendors and barangay officials have vehemently denied the allegations.
Separate investigations conducted by the police and the city government failed to yield concrete proof of the sex den yarn.
But it appears that Super might be just one of the favorite destinations of partners who do the deed out of love or for money.
Police Captain Sheila Sangrines, chief of the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), said that they are still validating the report.
“Nag-discuss kami kaina sang akon imbestigador pero kinahanglan ta i-review ang cases sa previews years. May mga alleged reports kita nga gina-subject for validation regarding sa gina-allege sa sex den,” she said.
According to Sangrines, what is evident is the presence of “roving minors” in the market. But as to their alleged sexual activities, these have yet to be “substantiated.”
“Pero kun basehan ta ang ginpatigayon nga interview with our rescued children, indi pa siya maka-substantiate pa kay ang information on sex den isa lang na sa mga information nga gasulod sa aton and gina-subject for violation. Ang klaro lang, ang roving but we have not caught them in the act,” she stressed.
Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) Iloilo Chapter Program Manager Mona Liza Diones expressed alarm on sexual trafficking that has been existing in the metro, especially transactional sex.
In an interview on Friday, Diones said the venues of transactional sex involving minors are now shifting from motels to so-called “cruising sites.”
“Sa cruising site dira na sila ga-conduct sang illegal sexual activities and indi na sa motels,” she revealed.
According to Diones, the shift is due to stricter protocols implemented by motels and other similar establishments where they prohibit minors from entering.
“Ang minors daan indi na sila pwede sa mga hotels and some hotels are even not accepting two male guests,” she said.
Transactional sex, which mostly involves male-to-male partners, resort to “cruising sites” in the city such as public bridges, public plazas, and even cemeteries.
“Wala labot sa boarding houses, public bridges and ang dira sa Diversion Road sa Mandurriao, antes ka magkadto sa subdivision, dira da cruising sites kon hawanan na da, and even dira sa mangroves,” Diones revealed.
In fact, several media reports indicated the prevalence of illegal sexual activities in the public areas in the city.
The latest was reported on Saturday where two individuals were caught having sex at the Esplanade in Mandurriao district
Diones said they are still identifying other cruising sites in the metro, including the controversial Super market.
At the same time, Diones encouraged the minors who were rescued from the Super recently to undergo human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test.
“I am recommending them to undergo HIV test para macheck bala kay daan wala na symptoms ang HIV,” she stressed.
The minors were rescued from Super for roving around the market during late hours.
Meanwhile, authorities are awaiting the report of the Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO) on the alleged illegal sexual activities in Super.