Marikina City, Philippines. Photo: Google Maps

A Filipino woman has been arrested for attempting to snatch a child attending a birthday party in Marikina City, near Manila in the Philippines.

Suspect Marjorie Dejan, 27, is accused of grabbing the child, who was standing at the gate of a house on Dama de Noche Street, and tried to carry the child away last Friday night. Witnesses around the area saw what happened and detained the suspect before calling the police, Philippine Lifestyle News reported.

Dejan was arrested and faces charges of attempted abduction under the Anti-Child Abuse Law. City Police Station Commander Colonel Rederico Maranan said the suspect planned to sell the child to someone for 1,000 pesos (US$19).

The police have yet to identify the woman’s accomplices.

A similar case occurred in February when another Filipino woman, identified as Lilibeth Bustamante, was caught kidnapping a 10-year-old girl in Parañaque City in Metro Manila. A neighbor saw the woman trying to run off with the child and intervened when the child was asking for help.

Bustamante said criminal gangs were abducting children to be sold into sex slavery. She said she received 1,000 pesos for each child that she handed to her paymasters. She said the gangs target children aged 10 years and above and urged to take “good-looking” children.

Police have yet to confirm if there really is a criminal syndicate involved in the abduction of children.

Metro Manila Southern Police District Director, Brigadier General Tomas Apolinario, has urged parents to safeguard their children and be aware of their whereabouts if they leave the house.

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