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Illegal recruiter entrapped now detained

Cebu City, Philippines. A 40-year old resident of Bacakayan, Boljoon, Cebu and two (2) of her staff were arrested Sunday in an entrapment operation led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) operatives after being caught in the act conducting illegal recruitment activities.

Marichu Caitor-Variation, manager of HYVA or I-Employ, was arrested in the afternoon of 21 October 018, Sunday, along with her staff – Jenelyn P. Martino of Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City and Janet C. Desales of Alang-alang, Mandaue City.

About twelve (12) CIDG-7 operatives conducted the entrapment operation at the 7th Floor of the LUYM Building corner Osmeña Boulevard and Plaridel Street, Ermita, Cebu City, where Variation and her cohorts conducted illegal recruitment victimizing aspiring hotel worker-applicants.

The conduct of said operation stemmed from the report provided by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) saying that Variation, illegally recruited hotel workers bound for Finland.

According to Ms. Evelia M. Durato, Chief of the POEA Regional Center for Visayas, the suspects conducted recruitment activities mostly at nighttime during weekends from 6:00 P.M. until 12:00 midnight.

It was very clear, Durato added, that Variation and her accomplices were engaging with an activity that’s forbidden by law.

“HYVA or I-Employ was not ever issued with a license or authority to recruit by the POEA. To our knowledge, there were already more than a thousand applicants who fell prey to the scheming suspects, who were clearly taking advantage of their vulnerabilities,” she clarified adding that upon learning of such activity from an anonymous letter-sender, their office immediately got in touch with the authorities.

She warned the public especially those, who aspired to go abroad to be wary and remain vigilant adding that they could always check and verify the status of registration of recruitment agencies at the POEA to be safe.

Colonel Hector S. Amancia, CIDG-7 Deputy Chief, personally visited the POEA office yesterday to discuss the result of the entrapment operation. He said that the suspects accepted the entrapment money consisting of a One Thousand Peso bill from one of their operatives acting as a poseur applicant. Also seized in the position of the suspects were log books, transaction reports, applicant referral slips, personal data sheets of applicants including their bank loan applications from several banks as well as their BIR TIN ID records, among others.

DOLE-7 Regional Director, Atty. Johnson G. Cañete, thanked CIDG-7 Regional Director, P/Supt. Lito Patay for giving immediate attention to the illegal activities of HYVA or I-Employ. He likewise lauded POEA for their prompt response saying that if not for the immediate action taken by concerned agencies, there could have been more individuals who would fall victim to anomalous and unscrupulous individuals and groups.

“All of us should be wary over the continuous prevalence of illegal recruitment activities targeting aspiring overseas Filipino workers. There is a need for a heightened public awareness on what constitutes illegal recruitment.  Everyone should be alert and should report to us immediately of any illegal activities that would come to their attention,” said Atty. Cañete.

The suspects, who are now in the custody of the CIDG-7 while waiting for the cases to be formally filed against them, violated Republic Act. 10022 or An Act Amending Republic Act No. 8042, Otherwise Known as the Migrant Workers And Overseas Filipinos Act Of 1995, as Amended, Further Improving the Standard of Protection And Promotion of the Welfare Of Migrant Workers, Their Families And Overseas Filipinos in Distress, and for other Purposes.

Under the law, Atty. Cañete continued, illegal recruitment is defined as any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers for employment abroad when undertaken by non-licensee or non-holder of authority.

DOLE-7 OIC-Assistant Regional Director, Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, for his part, lambasted individuals and groups, who continued scheming against their fellow kababayans. He said that it is even worth considering to include those responsible of such illegal activities to be meted with bigger punishment than what is currently provided for under the law.

He said that under Section 7 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, any person found guilty of illegal recruitment shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than twelve (12) years and one (1) day but not more than twenty (20) years and a fine of not less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) nor more than Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00).

It can be recalled that on 14 February 2017, three (3) personnel of Feljobs Manpower Services, a local recruitment agency located at M.L. Quezon Street, Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City were also arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by the DOLE-7, together with the CIDG-7. Feljobs Manpower Services, whose license as a private recruitment and placement agency expired since 2014, was found out to be conducting illegal recruitment activities.




For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at

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