MANILA, Philippines–Two employees of an immigration consultancy firm were meted out life sentences for large-scale illegal recruitment, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Judge Rose Mary Molina-Alim of Baguio City Regional Trial Court Branch 3 found Rodolfo Domingo Jr. and Roliza Batag guilty of engaging in the recruitment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) without proper authorization from the POEA.
Domingo and Batag were employees of Global Consultancy Management Services located at Cresencia Village, Baguio City.
According to the POEA, at least 41 complainants, most of them from Baguio, accused Domingo and Batag of collecting from them placement fees ranging from P35,000 up to P170,000.
They said they were promised employment as domestics in Canada; as butchers, factory workers and civil engineers in Australia; and as electronic technicians in South Korea, with salaries ranging from P60,000 to P130,000.
In another case, the owner of a recruitment firm in Legazpi City, Albay, was convicted of failing to reimburse an OFW for expenses the latter incurred while working on her deployment to the United States and Canada.
Lucille Manrique David, owner of Jasia International Manpower Services, was sentenced to up to eight years in prison and to pay a fine of P200,000 by Judge Elmer Lanuzo of the Legazpi Regional Trial Court.
Lanuzo also found David guilty of estafa and gave her another sentence of from four to 12 years. David was also ordered to pay the complainant P104,500 in damages.
Records showed David enlisted Michelle Daep de Naag Monreal in September 2008 to work as a housekeeper in the US.
Monreal said that after submitting documents and paying placement and processing fees amounting to P84,500, she learned from the US Embassy in Manila that the work visa for the position was no longer available for the Philippines.
The complainant testified that David then offered her employment in Canada, which also did not materialize.
The POEA noted that the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 considers “failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker’s fault,” an act of illegal recruitment.