Republic of the Philippines National Capital Region Makati City PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff -versusCriminal Case No.
21809 Honorable Judge ________________
BERNADETTE SANTOS, Accused POSITION PAPER (For the Plaintiff) PLAINTIFF, represented by the Public Prosecutor and unto this Honorable Office, most respectfully submits this Position Paper and in support thereof states the following: THE PARTIES 1. PLAINTIFF, represented by the Public Prosecutor 2. Private Complainant, MARIFE DOLINDO, is a Filipino, of legal age, and presently residing at 234 Poblacion Street, Makati City, Philippines 3. ACCUSED, BERNADETTE SANTOS, is a Filipino, of legal age, married, resident at 235 Poblacion Street, Makati City.
STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND THE CASE 4. Private Complainant and Accused have been neighbors at Poblacion Street in Makati City. Sometime in August 2, 2009, Private Complainant was recruited by the Accused and her husband to work abroad for overseas employment as a waitress in Germany for the Accused’s partner company ABC Restaurant & Bar.
5. The Private Complainant and the Accused agreed that they would fix their employment and travel papers together since the Accused also wanted to work abroad as a waitress. 6. The Private Complainant borrowed Php10,000 from the Accused in order for her to process her papers. The Accused lent her the money. 7. On the date of their departure sometime in late 2009, the Private Complainant discovered that they were not headed to Germany but to Nigeria. 8. Accused desisted from boarding the aircraft and left the Private Complainant to sojourn on her own. 9. Upon reaching Nigeria, the Private Complainant was informed she was going to be prostituted instead. 10. Her employer confiscated her passport and threatened her family at home if she does not abide by their orders. 11. During her stay at ABC Restaurant & Bar, she was exploited sexually and forced to provide sexual favors for the customers. She was forced to be a prostitute so that the money she would receive would be used to pay off her living expenses and debts. 12. She was held against her will and was punished by physical beating if she refused to comply with their orders. 13. She was able to escape 2 years later with the help of a former customer who paid out her contract with her employers. 14. Upon arrival in the Philippines, the Private Complainant executed an affidavit in order to file criminal charges against the Accused for violation of Section 4(a) of R.A. 9208 ISSUES 1. WHETHER OR NOT THE ACCUSED IS CRIMINALLY LIABLE FOR VIOLATING SECTION 4(a) OF THE “ANTI- TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACT OF 2003” (R.A. 9208); 2. WHETHER OR NOT THE ALLEGATION OF THE ACCUSED THAT PRIVATE COMPLAINANT WAS KNOWN TO MOONLIGHT AS A GUEST RELATIONS OFFICER AND “SPECIAL SERVICES MASSEUSE” ENTITLES THE ACCUSED TO EXEMPTION OR MITIGATION OF HIS CRIMINAL LIABILITY;
3. WHETHER OR NOT THE ALLEGATION OF THE ACCUSED THAT PRIVATE COMPLAINANT UNDER R.A. 9208; ARGUMENTS/DISCUSSIONS FIRST ISSUE: VIOLATION OF SECTION 4(a) OF THE “ANTI- TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACT OF 2003” (R.A. 9208) 1. It is undeniable that the Accused is guilty of violating Section 4(a) of the “AntiTrafficking in Persons Act of 2003” (R.A. 9208). 2. According to Section 3(a) of the same act, Trafficking in Persons refers to: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs.” 3. Recruitment, according Article 13(b) of The Labor Code, “refers to any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and includes referrals, contract services, promising advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not:… x x x” 4. The fact that the Accused denies having a partnership with ABC Restaurant & Bar is of no moment since the act of referring already places it under the definition of Recruitment. 5. Pivotal also in this argument is the fact that Trafficking in Persons is punishable under law with or without the victim’s consent. Thus, even if the Accused in her counteraffidavit repeatedly stated that it was the Private Complainant who brought up the idea of working overseas she is still guilty of recruiting the Private Complainant. It is of no FREQUENTLY TRAVELLED TO SEEK EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ABROAD SHALL BAR THE PROSECUTION OF THE ACCUSED
moment that the Private Complainant willingly agreed to be referred to ABC Restaurant & Bar. SECOND ISSUE: ENTITLEMENT OF ACCUSED TO EXEMPTION OR MITIGATION OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY 6. The Accused claims in her counter-affidavit that the Private Complainant was known to moonlight as a Guest Relations Officer and “Special Services Masseuse” even before they met and talked about going abroad for employment. 7. Whether or not this allegation is proven to be true does not entitle the accused to exemption or mitigation of his criminal liability for violation of Section 4(a) of R.A. 9208. 8. The Supreme Court in its decision in the case of People v. Lalli1, affirmed the findings of the trial court that the allegations of the accused that complainant was a Guest Relations Officer and had 4 children fathered by four different men were “x x x ,…irrelevant and immaterial to the criminal prosecution. These circumstances, even if true, would not exempt or mitigate the criminal liability of the accused.” THIRD ISSUE: FREQUENT TRAVELS ABROAD FOR EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITES A BAR AGAINST PROSECUTION UNDER R.A. 9208 1. This allegation of the Accused, even if proven to be true does not erase the undisputed fact that she has committed an act of recruitment by referring the Private Complainant to ABC Restaurant and Bar. 2. Such previous trips or transactions cannot be placed within the ambit of the transaction central to this case. This case involves the Accused and the Private Complainant wherein the Accused was instrumental in bringing together the Private Complainant and her employers over at ABC Restaurant & Bar.
People v. Lalli, G.R. No. 195419, October 12, 2011. 4
PRAYER/ RELIEF WHEREFORE premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that: The Accused be prosecuted for violation of Section 4(a) of the “Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2003” (R.A. 9208); The Private Complainant be entitled to such other reliefs as may be deemed just and equitable under the circumstances.
Respectfully submitted. City of Makati, Septermber 19, 2012.
CLINICAL LEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAM (LEGAL AID) ATENEO LAW SCHOOL LEGAL SERVICES CENTER Counsel for Private Complainant
20 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City 1200. By: Gilbert V. Sembrano IBP Lifetime No. 03400 Rizal PTR No. 3191587; 1/12/2012; Makati Roll Of Attorney No. 410030 MCLE Exemption No. III-001557
I, MARIFE DOLINDO, of legal age, Filipino, and presently residing at 234 Poblacion Street, Makati City, Philippines, after having been duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and state, that: 1. I am the private complainant in the above- entitled case; 2. I have contributed to the preparation of this Position Paper, read and understood the contents thereof, which is true and correct of my own knowledge, belief and authenticity of the documents; 3. I have not commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal, or quasi-judicial agency and to the best of my knowledge, no such action or claim is pending therein; and 4. Should I thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, I would report such fact within (5) days there from. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature this 19th of September 2012 at Makati City.
MARIFE DOLINDO Affiant SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me the _______________________ at ____________________, ________________. affiant exhibited to me her Identification Card No: