Quezon City to padlock spa suspected to be prostitution front

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FILE PHOTO

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 19) – Local authorities have ordered the shutdown of a ‘spa’ in Quezon City, which allegedly has been used as a front for prostitution.

The establishment, identified as Dragon Spa, is being closed on orders of Quezon City Mayor Josefina ‘Joy’ Belmonte for its alleged city ordinance violations.

PCol Ronnie S Montejo, acting Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director, said that the enterprise at 1022 Olympia Bldg, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Brgy. Mariana offered “extra service” or sexual activities in exchange for payment through a website called ‘manilatonight.com.’ The site supposedly allows customers to book the services of a ‘female therapist’ of their choice by showing them their photos.

Quezon City police confirmed the supposed scheme during a raid on Saturday.

Law enforcers arrested two people identified as Charmaine Gonzales, cashier and receptionist of the spa, and Dennis Mendoza, a customer availing of the “extra service.”

The spa's manager -- a certain Mary Jean Aranas who the police said goes by the name George Bautista to disguise her identity -- and Dianne Mendoza, the spa’s registered owner, were not around during the raid. But Montejo said they will face charges for violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Meanwhile, operatives rescued four female therapists and turned them over to the city’s Social Services Development Department.