Sarah Duterte or Baste Duterte —can champion the fight against human trafficking because of their tough, uncompromising characters.
Susan Ople, president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, said the country badly needs “anti-trafficking national champions” and President Rodrigo Duterte’s children can be a good fit for the role.
“We need to have anti-trafficking champions and perhaps Sarah or Baste Duterte can be our champions given their celebrity status,” she said in a news conference Thursday, June 29.
Sarah Duterte, the incumbent mayor of Davao City and Baste, host of a television program, are also known child rights advocates.
“In the same way that presidential daughter, Ivanka Trump, is now actively involved in the fight against global slavery, we hope presidential son Baste Dutertea and Mayor Sarah can be visible champions against illegal recruitment and human trafficking,” Ople said.
She said the designation of anti-human trafficking czar will also help maintain the Philippines’ Tier 1 status in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.
The Tier 1 status means that it meets the minimum standard to eliminate trafficking.
Ople noted that the fight against human trafficking is an advocacy shared by both Preside Duterte and US President Donald Trump. The 2017 US TIP report is the first to be issued by the Trump administration.
During the unveiling of the TIP report, Ivanka Trump said, “Ending human trafficking is a major foreign policy priority for the Trump
President Duterte, in his first State of the Nation Address, also cited the fight against human trafficking as a major priority.
“I hope that Baste Duterte considers taking up the cause, especially as someone who hails from Mindanao where webhave encountered several cases of human trafficking and illegal recruitment. He can do this even as a private citizen,” Ople said.