Babies for sale in Philippines, suspects nabbed by NBI charged for child trafficking

September 13, 2018 | Brainwave Science

Babies for sale in Philippines, suspects nabbed by NBI charged for child traffickingSITUATION

The NBI (The National Bureau of Investigation, Philippines) has arrested a baby seller and a registered nurse for child trafficking. The baby seller, identified as April Rose Ramirez, was reportedly selling the child of a married woman with another man. The nurse, Catherine Lagustan, wanted to buy a child to prove to her boyfriend that he got her pregnant.

The suspects were arrested at the airport after a bad deal, when Lagustan found out that the baby has a cleft palate and refused to take a child.  The airport police became suspicious that this incident involves child trafficking and decided to report the matter to the NBI.

NBI International Airport Investigation Division (NBI-IAID) Chief Manuel Dimaano said Ramirez and Lagustan have been charged before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office with child trafficking in violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.

Also named as their co-respondent is the child’s mother who hails from Cagayan de Oro- an urban city in Northern Mindanao, Philippines. Dimaano said the offense is non-bailable and carries a penalty ranging from reclusion temporal (12 to 20 years imprisonment) to reclusion perpetua (20 to 40 years imprisonment).


Human trafficking is a horrific crime against millions of people, especially against women and children, and it is increasing in the Philippines. The trafficking of children has been internationally recognized as a serious crime that exists in every region of the world and which often has human rights implications. Yet, it is only within the past decade that the prevalence and ramifications of this practice have risen to international prominence, due to a dramatic increase in research and public action. The 2017 Trafficking in Persons report by the U.S. Department of State noted that most victims of slavery worldwide come from the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines. “Most victims in this region are in forced labor,” read the report.It added that conviction rates for perpetrators remain low in Asia “due to inadequate interventions from governments, corruption, and weak supply chain monitoring.”

In the Philippines, the 2016 Global Slavery Index noted that an estimated 401,000 Filipinos are living in modern-day slavery.

A variety of potential solutions have accordingly been suggested, which can be categorized as four types of action: broad protection, prevention, law enforcement, and victim assistance.

Law enforcement needs updated means of advanced intelligence solution that can empower them in solving more child trafficking cases.



Philippines has an “average vulnerability score of 47.67 out of 100” despite being “a regional leader in victim support and protection.” With changes happening at global level trafficking of humans is exploitation to the highest degree because it destroys lives of the vulnerable, people with very little option. It must be addressed with ultra-modern technologies along with procedures to ensure prevention and education of the most vulnerable, especially women and children. iCognative developed by Brainwave Science is a forensic, neuroscience based disruptive technology ready to support law enforcement and investigative agencies at all levels and practices. The use of this technology extends in investigative actions initiated by Law Enforcement, Border Security, Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence disciplines. Furthermore, it outranks classical investigative methods such as the polygraph/Lie detector or DNA test because of their application and accuracy issues as well as limited availability respectively. Unlike time-consuming interrogation techniques and recurring false tips from informants, iCognative guarantees a high success rate in generating quality leads at an unprecedented faster rate. The advanced system is rooted in cognitive psychophysiology, measuring patterns of a specific brain response called P300.

The iCognative solution enables intelligence officers to distinguish between innocents and suspects and to gather valuable information from an accurate source: the human brain. A 45 minutes iCognative test, delivers results with accuracy rates over 99%, helps obtain specific concealed information from a suspect’s brain regarding degree of suspect’s involvement in a trafficking case, information a victim or perpetrator is concealing, and whether a suspect has any other incriminating information connected to other crimes.

The technology can verify tips from informants or witnesses of child trafficking behavior or victims with the information stored in the brain of a suspect. In the context of the situation with April Rose Ramirez and Catherine Lagustan, as they are currently the suspects can be subjected to a iCognative test.  With case related details such as: Date, time and location of the meeting – Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Sept.10; details of negotiations between suspects- child will be bought for P30,000 and Ramirez will get a fee of P3,500; along with witness testimonies of people at the airport who reported the suspicious behavior; method used to identify buyer and seller – Facebook page Babies; along with other details, called stimuli are employed to conduct a iCognative test on all suspects.  Instant analysis of results can help investigators from NBI swiftly determine if the suspects have any connection to the victim, a child trafficking network, a trafficking situation that already happened or is about to occur, known associates, details of the crime or other information about the victims.

iCognative may very well be deployed to verify if the statements of suspects, victims, or witnesses are entirely correct and it can match testimonies with readily available competitive intelligence. iCognative offers a state-of-the-art automated cloud-based technology experience that law enforcement and national intelligence departments urgently need.

The information obtained through a iCognative test enables authorities to reach new suspects, supports their mission to protect borders and citizens in equal measure.

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