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Cebu News

3 Japanese charged for working sans permit

Mylen P. Manto - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation-7 has filed criminal charges before the Prosecutor's Office against three Japanese nationals for working at a call center at the Cebu IT Park without an Alien Employment Permit.

NBI-7 director lawyer Ricardo Diaz filed a complaint for violation of Article 40 in relation to Article 302 of Presidential Decree 442 or the Labor Code against Eiichi Chiba, Yuko Tsushima, and Megumi Nagayama.

"We are respectfully transmitting herewith for your appropriate action the result of our investigation relative to the service of Search Warrant issued by Cebu City Municipal Trial Court in Cities Executive Judge Monalila Tecson with the recommendation that Chiba, Tsushima and Nagayama…be criminally charged with and prosecuted for violation of  Art. 40 in relation to Art. 302 of PD 442," the document reads.

The NBI said that sometime in August, Josephine Manliquez and Muriel Gocotano, former employees of the Japan Intertrade Call Center Corporation (JICC) located at Cebu IT Park in Salina Drive, Lahug, Cebu City, reported to the NBI that Chiba, Tsushima and Nagayama were "operating, working and actively participating and intervening in the operation" of JICC, a Japanese owned call center corporation along with several Japanese nationals for several years.

Chiba and Tsushima were reportedly incorporators of JICC.

Diaz said three foreigners violated the Labor Code because they worked at JICC without securing an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor (DOLE). AEP is a document authorizing a foreign national to work in the Philippines.

Manliquez and Gocotano alleged they were certain Chiba has no AEP since they had been tasked to handle the renewal of the latter's tourist visa. They alleged Tsushima and Nagayama have no AEP.

On September 10, the NBI secured a search warrant before Tecson. On September 11, they implemented the search warrant in coordination with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) and seized computers, gadgets, and documents.

During the implementation of the warrant, Diaz alleged they chanced upon Chiba who was presiding over a conference with his members. Tsushima and Nagayama were present in the conference.

When Chiba was requested to present his AEP, he allegedly failed to present one, but claimed he was a corporate officer, which reportedly exempts him from securing an AEP, as provided under Department Order No. 146-15.

Regional director Exequeil Sarcuaga of DOLE clarified, however, that Chiba is still covered by Department Orders No. 120-12 Series 2012 and 97-09 Series of 009, which govern the issuance of AEP.

"The latest amendment hereto as provided under Department Order No. 146-15 does not apply to him since it effectively took effect only on 29 September 2-015 or 18 days before the service of the Search Warrant during which such illegal act is still governed by such two Department Orders. The preceding two Department Orders does not provide exclusion for corporate officers as Chiba claims provided under the Corporation Code of the Philippines," the document reads.

Moreover, Diaz said investigation revealed Tsushima had an expired AEP because its validity date was only until March 31. —/JMO (FREEMAN)

AEP

ALIEN EMPLOYMENT PERMIT

BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION AND DEPORTATION

CHIBA

DEPARTMENT ORDER NO

DEPARTMENT ORDERS

DIAZ

LABOR CODE

ON SEPTEMBER

SEARCH WARRANT

TSUSHIMA AND NAGAYAMA

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