Aug 012016

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has ordered an investigation of the possible involvement of some immigration officers in human trafficking.

Morente on Monday ordered the investigation after five Filipino women were deported from South Korea last July 23.

The Bureau of Immigration, however, refused to identify the immigration officers but said that a show-cause order was already issued by Morente requiring them to explain why they should not be administratively charged for allowing the women to leave the country.

The immigration officers have 72 hours to give their side.

“We will not hesitate to punish any of our employees who connived with human traffickers in preying on our women. That is unforgivable,” Morente said.

“They were immediately relieved from their immigration airport counter duties and their immigration stamps confiscated,” Morente further disclosed.

The women left the country posing as tourists, their Korean entertainers’ visas were placed on their passports only during their stop-over in Hongkong.

They worked as nightclub singers in Korea and were eventually deported for overstaying. Their promoter in Korea was likewise arrested. Their identities were not revealed pursuant to the provisions of the anti-human trafficking law.

Initial reports found that the women separately left the country two years ago for various destinations before proceeding to Korea.

They were allegedly cleared for departure by immigration officers despite their doubtful purpose of travel and presentation of questionable documents.

Morente, however, assured that the immigration officers will be given a fair hearing and that due process will be observed in the investigation.  JE/rga

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