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4 scammers illegally recruiting OFWs to New Zealand nabbed

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

The four scammers illegally recruiting overseas Filipino workers to New Zealand

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities were able to arrest in July 2017 the leader of a syndicate that recruits OFWs seeking to work in New Zealand. The leader is identified as Marivel Equio.

However, she walked free after paying P 90,000 to the three complainants.

Earlier on Tuesday, operatives of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (CIDG-ATCU) re-arrested her through an entrapment operation at the Harrison Plaza Manila after receiving complaints on a similar modus operandi.

The suspect allegedly demanded P 60,000 from victims as placement fee.

“May opisina po kami sa New Zealand. Sa Pilipinas po wala. Ang company po ay hindi po talaga nakaregister sa POEA. Direct hire nga po,” said Equio.

(We have an office in New Zealand. We don’t have one in the Philippines. The company is really not registered in the POEA. It’s direct hire.)

Earlier, members of the syndicate identified as Cristina Limon and Nathaniel Camacho were arrested in Paranaque, while Edith Rico was arrested in West Avenue Quezon City.

Some of the victims said that the promised New Zealand flight of the suspects in the first and third week of March did not happen.

“Yung iba po ay kinuhanan nila ng motor para lang ipambayad. House and lot binibigay sa kanya, sinasanla para may pang placement fee sila kaya kailangan po napagbayad sila sa kasalanan nila. Mabulok sila sa bilangguan,” said Gemma Piscuela, one of the victims of the recruitment scam.

(They even get a motorcycle from one of the victims as payment. Others pawned their houses to pay the placement fee. They have to pay for their crimes. It’s their fault. They should rot in jail.)

CIDG-ATCU chief PSupt. Roque Merdegia Jr. said that the suspects were able to swindle money worth around P 1,000,000 from almost 50 victims.

This prompted them to file illegal recruitment and estafa charges against them.

Merdegia reminded the victims to stand firm on their complaints.

“Wag magpadala sa areglo. Kung magsasampa ng kaso ay ituloy para makulong na ito ng tuluyan at hindi na makalabas ng kulungan,” said the police officer.

(Don’t be swayed by a settlement. If you will file a case, follow through on it so they won’t be able to escape jail.)

The CIDG-ATCU reminded aspiring OFWs not to fall for direct hiring as this system is commonly used by illegal recruiters. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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Police capture illegal recruiter promising jobs to NZ

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, July 6th, 2018

Illegal recruiter Yvette Valdez


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A female illegal recruiter was nabbed by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (CIDG-ATCU) through a warrant of arrest issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Rosalyn Mislos-Roja.

CIDG-ATCU Chief Supt. Roque Merdegia Jr. said the suspect, Yvette Valdez, was wanted by authorities for charges of illegal recruitment and six counts of estafa.

Valdez was also involved in illegally recruiting over 170 overseas Filipino workers in exchange for job opportunities as dairy farm workers in New Zealand in November 2017.
She swindled around P200,000 to P250,000 pesos from each of her victims as processing fee.

“Convincing silang magsalita. Magagaling silang magsalita por que iyong Raul na iyan ay nalakad sa POEA. Siya daw ang naga-asikaso ng papers namin,” narrated Sadiri Alinday Kalinga, one of Valdez’ victims.

Kalinga said as soon as they paid the amount, Valdez suspiciously disappeared and the agency, Ryvt Recruitment Agency, which Valdez used as front for her modus operandi suddenly closed. Valdez’ agency was not registered at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Valdez appeared to be in connivance with previously arrested illegal recruiters Alejandro Navarro alias Alex Navarro and Raul Ramos.

“Nakatira na si Yvette sa opisina at itong si Raul ay pumupunta doon ng madaling araw at alanganing oras ng gabi. Hindi siya pumapasok ng 8am-5pm. Alanganin siya pumupunta para kunin ang kabayaran. Ang average daily na kolekta ni Yvette na ibinibigay kay Raul ay P300,000 at umabot ng P1M hanggang P1.5M a day ang ibinabayad,“ Merdegia said.

Navarro was arrested in May while campaigning as barangay kagawad in barangay Tatalon in Quezon City.

Authorities are calling on the victims of Valdez to come out and help in filing the case against her. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

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PHL, Kuwait sign agreement over OFW protection

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2018

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah sign the Agreement of the Employment of Domestic Workers on May 11, 2018 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait. (DFA photo)

Filipino workers in Kuwait would now receive additional protection following the signing of an agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah signed the Agreement of the Employment of Domestic Workers on May 11.

The signing was also witnessed by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and other Philippines government officials led by Special Envoy Mohammad Mama-o.

The agreement ensures, among others, that Filipino domestic workers have access to prompt legal assistance whenever necessary.

It also states that Kuwaiti employers will provide domestic workers with food, housing, clothing and health insurance. They are not allowed to confiscate the passport of their employees and that OFWs shall be allowed the use of cellphones; at least 7 hours of sleep; and one day off weekly with pay. — UNTV News & Rescue






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PH-Kuwait agreement on OFW protection to be signed on May 11

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning home from the Middle East (PHOTOVILLE International)


KUWAIT– The Philippine delegation to Kuwait confirmed that a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the Gulf State will be signed on Friday, May 11.

Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday night, May 9, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said both governments finally have agreed on the provisions of the MOA on the welfare and protection of Filipino workers in Kuwait.

“Tatlo pong mga cabinet secretary o ministers dito sa Kuwait ang aming nakausap,” Roque said. “Dito naman po kay Ministry of Labor ang napag-usapan talaga ay iyong tungkol doon sa Memorandum of Agreement na pipirmahan na.”

(We spoke with three cabinet secretaries or ministers in Kuwait. We discussed the signing of Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Labor.)

The provisions in the proposed MOA on OFW protection included the ones President Rodrigo Duterte expected to be in the agreement. First is the condition that passports of  OFWs should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy; second, OFWs will be given one day off weekly with pay; third, OFWs will be allowed at least 7 hours of sleep every night; fourth, OFWs should be provided a proper and healthy meals.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said though the Kuwaiti government agreed, he admitted that the other party was adamant at first over the said provisions.

“Iyon ang naging mainit na debate, iyong passport dahil (The passport issue triggered a heated debate because) initially they agreed that the passport should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy. Pero ang sabi nila hindi na kailangang ilagay sa MOU iyan, basta we will agree. So our technical working group insisted na kailangan nandun sa MOU. Finally, after a heated argument nag-agree na sila,” Bello explained.

(The passport issue triggered a heated debate because initially they agreed that the passport should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy. But they said “There’s no need to include it in the MOU. We will just agree.” So our technical working group insisted on including it in the MOU. They finally agreed after a heated argument.)

The Kuwaiti government has created a special police unit that works 24/7 to respond to reports of distressed OFWs, according to Roque.

Meanwhile, Kuwait has released the four Filipino drivers who accompanied embassy officials in the controversial rescue mission last month. Roque assured that the four will not be deported and they are cleared of charges.

Alongside these developments, the Philippine officials also confirmed that the Kuwaiti government allowed the repatriation of the 600 distressed OFWs in the Gulf State. One hundred fifty of them will be going home together with the Philippine delegation.

“Maiiwan iyong 62 kasi may kaso pa. Pero yung walang kaso pauuwiin na nila at their expense. Nabigla nga kami, napasipa ako kay Sec. Roque nung sinabi na at their expense. So that is a bonus na unexpected talaga,” Bello said.

(The 62 OFWs with pending cases will remain while the rest will be sent home at their (Kuwait’s) expense. We were so surprised by the offer that I nudged Sec. Roque, when they said “at their expense.” It was a really unexpected bonus.)

Meanwhile, newly appointed special envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mama-O is expected to arrive to Kuwait today, May 10, for the finalization of the agreement before the official signing tomorrow, May 11. – Mirasol Abogadil / Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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