Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to intensify its campaign against illegal recruiters after two of them were nabbed offering fake Swiss job opportunities.
Secretary Bello, citing a report from POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, said that the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group conducted an entrapment operation which yielded the arrest of Wilfrido Liwag David and Jemmalyn Mimis Barlan for illegal recruitment of 12 victims who were lured with fake job offers for Switzerland.
“The arrest of the two illegal recruiters are part of the government’s intensified campaign against illegal recruitment,” said Bello.
The non-existent job offers were for hotel and factory work involving a supposed Swiss employer named KBR or Kelloggs Brown Root Company. The victims were promised wages or salaries ranging from P60,000 to P70,000 and that their applications will supposedly only take 45 days, with purported positions having readily-available visas.
In his report, Administrator Cacdac said that no placement fees were needed for overseas recruitment, but the victims were required to pay medical examination fees ranging from P3,500 to P6,000 to a specified medical clinic in Ermita.
The victims reported the illegal recruitment activities to the POEA, which endorsed the cases to the PNP for the conduct of the entrapment operation. The entrapment operation occurred in Robinson’s Manila, where David and Barlan were caught in the act of illegal recruitment.
Secretary Bello ordered the immediate investigation of the nabbed illegal recruiters. They will be brought to the Department of Justice for inquest proceedings. He also instructed the POEA to monitor the case.