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2 ‘illegal recruiters’ charged in court

Michael Vencynth H. Braga (The Freeman) - May 1, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Two people are facing criminal charges before the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City for illegally recruiting three nurses to work abroad.

The Cebu City Prosecutor's Office has indicted Nila Tolin and Susan Gulem of "large -scale" illegal recruitment. The two are also facing estafa charges.

Tolin and Gulem allegedly connived to recruit the three victims, names withheld by The Freeman, to work as nurses in a hospital in Belize, Central America.

The recruiters allegedly had no license to recruit from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. They reportedly made the victims believe that they have the capacity and authority to deploy workers abroad.

The victims claimed that they were assured to receive a monthly salary of US $1, 1000. Tolin and Gulem required the complainants to pay US$1, 285 as processing and placement fees, which was paid in installment basis.

In spite having paid the required amount, the victims said they were not deployed abroad and were not given refund of their payment.

"The evidence presented before this investigation indubitably establish the acts of illegal recruitment committed by the respondents. The later deliberately misrepresented to have the authority to recruit complainants for a job abroad when in truth they have no such authority from the government," the prosecutor's office stated in its resolution.

Republic Act No. 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995) defines illegal recruitment as any act of "canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, procuring workers and includes referring, contact services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-license or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13 (f) of Presidential Decree No. 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines)."

Illegal recruitment is committed in large scale if carried out against three or more persons individually or as a group.

If found guilty, a person who is not a licensee may be sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment of not less than four years but not more than eight years or a fine of up to P100,000 or both such imprisonment and fine, at the discretion of the court. — (FREEMAN)

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