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SC upholds with finality Migrant Workers Act

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed with finality questions on the legality of several provisions of Republic Act 8042, the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.

In a resolution released yesterday, the SC upheld its decision last Dec. 17 reversing a ruling of the Manila Regional Trial Court declaring sections 6, 7, 9 and the last sentence of the second paragraph of Section 10 of R.A. 8042 invalid.

The SC dismissed the partial motion for reconsideration of the government.

“The Court resolved to deny with finality the motion for partial reconsideration filed by the Office of the Solicitor General for the petitioners as the basic issues raised therein have been passed upon by this Court and no substantial arguments were presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned decision,” read the SC decision.

Section 6 of R.A. 8042 defines the crime of “illegal recruitment” and enumerates the acts constituting the same. Section 7 provides penalties for the prohibited acts.

Section 9 allowed the filing of criminal actions arising from illegal recruitment before the RTC of the province or city where the offense was committed, or where the offended party actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense.

Finally, the last sentence of the second paragraph of Section 10 holds the corporate directors, officers, and partners of recruitment and placement agencies jointly and solidarily liable for money claims and damages that may be adjudged against the agencies.

The SC stood by its earlier finding that “illegal recruitment” as defined in Section 6 of RA 8042 is clear and unambiguous.

The SC saw nothing unconstitutional with

Section 9 of RA 8042, allowing offended parties to file the criminal case in their place of residence in addition to the place where the crime is committed.

It held that the fixing of an alternative venue for violations of Section 6 of RA 8042 different from the venues set in the Rules of Criminal Procedure is “consistent with the law’s declared policy of providing a criminal justice system to protect and serve the best interest of the victims of illegal recruitment.”

As to the last sentence of the second paragraph of Section 10, the SC said the “liability of corporate directors and officers is not automatic. 

To make them jointly and solidarily liable with their company, there must be a finding that they were remiss in directing the affairs of that company.”

COURT

CRIMINAL

MANILA REGIONAL TRIAL COURT

MIGRANT WORKERS AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS ACT

OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL

RECRUITMENT

REPUBLIC ACT

RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

SECTION

SUPREME COURT

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